(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The independent film & video monthly"

S P 




;ARY lfi 



NEW TECHNOLOGY 



-)4 ^^m $3.50 USA $4.50 


CAN 


WEPEtDENr Iti 


TlV^MJJ 


LfU 



NONLINEAR NARRATIVE 
Virtual Reality ?* 

AIDS Education on CD-ROM 



A publication of the Found; 




To the cinematographer, the timing is essential 

in evaluating the exposure of the negative. 

These color and density numbers, created when 

timing a film daily, have not been available to 

the D. P. when video dailies are made... 

until now. 

TO MEET THIS NEED, 

DU ART HAS DEVELOPED 

A NEW SERVICE: 

The 

VIDEO DAILY 

TIMING REPORT. 

This timing report indicates timing lights in 

relationship to both footage and frames and 

SMPTE time code, giving the cinematographer 

needed exposure values for each scene 

on every camera roll. 




^ DuArt Film Laboratories 245 West 55th Street New York, NY 10019 Tel: 212 757 4580 Fax: 212 977 7448 



SONY CVP-M3 

COLOR VIDEO PRINTER 



Create high-resolution 
color printouts from any 
video source 

Sony's new portable Color Video 

Printer lets you make prints in just 

one minute from any video 

source. Frame memory renders A 

nearly 1 7 million colors to 

give your prints brilliant 

accuracy and precision. The 

titling feature lets you add a 

message or date to each print. 

And the new portable design lets 

you take the CVP-M3 anywhere you need to go 




Features 

• Prints quickly from any video source 

such as a camcorder, VCR, TV or Laserdisc. 
Each print takes just 60 seconds. 

• High resolution (448x708 dots) using full- 
frame digital memory mode (captures both 
scan fields at once). Field digital memory 
mode (one scan field A or B) also available 
for capturing moving images. 

• 256 gradations for each color allows nearly 
17 million discrete colors for extremely 
accurate color reproduction. 

• Titling function allows you to add the date 
and/or message in one of two typefonts below 
the print area. 

• Digital special effects such a picture-in- 
picture (1/4 or 1/16), 4 or 16 multi-image of 
same or different picture of your choice on 
a single print. 

• Auto multi-sequence print (4 or 16 multiple 
image mode) in three speed (slow/mid/quick) 
for sports motion analysis. 



AUDIO ELECTRONICS 
120 DUANE STREET -NEW YORK, NY 10007 
Tel: (212) 608-3720 ■ Fax: (212) 233-0539 



Wireless remote control can control both 
Color Video Printer and Sony Handycam® 
camcorder* or VCR* for easy location of 
your desired print point using a single remote 
control. 

On-screen menu shows detailed information 
such as printing status, print quantity, titling 
message, screen mode, status of color and 
picture adjustment for easy operation. 
Color and picture adjustment allows you to 
correct color and picture tone even after 
capturing the picture in digital memory (red, 
green, blue, brightness, sharpness controls). 
Video and S-Video inputs for connection to 
any video source including Hi8, S-VHS and 
ED Beta video formats. 
1 Up to 25 prints of the same image can be 
duplicated at the touch of a button. 
■ Print packs available in 50 and 100 sheet 
cartons. 



New Low Price 

$99900 



'Camcorder or VCR with Sony infrared wireless remote capability. 
Sony® and Handycam® are trademarks of Sony. 



JxZftor'sNote 



Dear Readers, 

Welcome to the new Independent Film and Video Monthly. Over the past 
year, you might have noticed a shift in editorial content: We've introduced regional 
spotlights, which will appear two to three times per year; our expanded profile section, 
"Talking Heads," now runs almost every month; we're devoting more space to timely 
issues and practical information; and we're making sure our articles are relevant and 
readable. 

The Independent's evolution continues with this month's redesign. Our glossy 
cover grants the magazine entree into a greater number of newsstands and 
bookstores. And the interior design gives added visual punch to our articles. 
Altogether, we hope the package is as exciting as the independent media field it 
covers. 

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Association of Independent Video 
and Film (AIVF), which copublishes The Independent together with the 
Foundation for Independent Video and Film (FIVF). We'll be devoting our June 
1994 issue to a look at the association's — and the field's — past 20 years. But to kick 
off 1994, we thought we'd look to the future, examining a topic that will affect 
independents for the next decade or two: interactive communications — including 
both the production of interactive media and the new interactive delivery systems. 

In putting together this month's issue, we utilized a variety of digital 
communications tools. Several articles were faxed to our office, requiring a typist to 
input them the old-fashioned way. Others were received by modem. Still others 
came — for the first time at this magazine — via email (aivf@tmn.com) . None came 
by U.S. postal snail mail. Many of our photographs also arrived on computer disk, in 
TIFF or EPS files. 

While high-tech communications can make life easier, so too can they wreak 
havoc when systems break down. Call them what you will — demons, poltergeists, or 
ghosts in the machine — they are a major nuisance. While working on this issue, 
production ground to a halt when both modem phone lines went dead and our brand 
new fax/modem broke; editing was delayed when three emailed articles were stalled at 
an entryway for days; and confusion reigned when our modem, set up to 
automatically dial our art director, developed a mind of its own and steered the calls 
to some poor stranger, who in turn must have been mystified by all of the hang-up 
calls. A neighbor down the hall from AIVF gave us as good an explanation as any for 
all the technological mishaps: "Mercury is in retrograde until November 15," he 
announced, "so all communications will be difficult until then. " 

Now that the planets are no longer conspiring against us, we hope that you 
readers will take the opportunity to communicate with us and one another about the 
topics raised in this issue. We'll be meeting online to discuss the future of 
independents in the new communications environment. You'll find us on America 
Online under "Abbate" during January and February. See you there! 



Patricia Thomson 
editor 



Ruby Lerner 
publisher 



Michele Shapiro 
managing editor 



pirno 

JM. M O N T H L Y\/ 



January/February 1994 
VOLUME 17, NUMBER 1 

Publisher: Ruby Lerner 

Editor: Patricia Thomson 

Managing Editor: Michele Shapiro 

Editorial Assistant: Sue Murray 

Intern: Mitch Albert 

Contributing Editors: Kathryn Bowser, Barbara Osborn, 

Karen Rosenberg, Catherine Saalfield 

Art Director: Daniel Christmas 

Advertising: Laura D. Davis (212) 473-3400 

National Distribution: Bernhard DeBoer (201) 667-9300; 

Ingram Periodicals (800) 627-6247 

Printed in the USA by Sheridan Press 

The Independent is published 10 times yearly by the 
Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. (FIVF), 
625 Broadway, 9th fl., New York, NY 10012, (212) 
473-3400; fax: (212) 677-8732. FIVF is a nonprofit, 
tax-exempt educational foundation dedicated to the 
promotion of video and film, and by the Association of 
Independent Video and Filmmakers, Inc. (AIVF), the 
national trade association of independent producers and 
individuals involved in independent video and film. 
Subscription is included with membership in AIVF. 
Together FIVF and AIVF provide a broad range of 
educational and professional services for independents 
and the general public. Publication of The Independent 
is made possible in part with public funds from the New 
York State Council on the Arts and the National 
Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. 

Publication of any advertisement in The Independent 
does not constitute an endorsement. AIVF/FIVF are not 
responsible for any claims made in an ad. 

The Independent welcomes unsolicited manuscripts. 
Manuscripts cannot be returned unless a stamped, self- 
addressed envelope is included. No responsibility is 
assumed for loss or damage. 

Letters to The Independent should be addressed to 
the editor. Letters may be edited for length. 

All contents are copyright of the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film, Inc. Reprints require 
written permission and acknowledgement of the article's 
previous appearance in The Independent. ISSN 0731- 
5198. The Independent is indexed in the Alternative 
Press Index. 

© Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. 
1994 

AIVF/FIVF staff members: Ruby Lerner, executive 
director; Kathryn Bowser, administrative/festival bureau 
director; Pamela Calvert, membership/program director; 
Judah Friedlander, membership associate; Susan 
Kennedy, development director; John McNair, 
information services associate; Martha Wallner, 
advocacy coordinator. 

AIVF/FIVF legal counsel: Robert I. Freedman, Esq., 
Leavy, Rosensweig & Hyman 

AIVF/FIVF Board of Directors: Eugene Aleinikoff,* Joan 
Braderman, Loni Ding (vice president), Barbara 
Hammer, Ruby Lerner (ex officio), Dai Sil Kim-Gibson, 
Jim Klein (treasurer), W. Wilder Knight II, Beni Matias, 
Robb Moss, Robert Richter (president), Norman Wang,* 
Barton Weiss (secretary), Debra Zimmerman (chair). 
* FIVF Board of Directors only 



2 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 2 



In This Issue 



A Special Report 



Independents and Interactive Media 



Interactive Media 
Write on the Money by 



WNie On me IVIOney by Barbara Bliss Osborne 

Writing is linear.. .isn't it? Not if you're creating CD-ROMs or virtual reality 
environments. Several mediamakers who have braved the new terrain discuss 
making the switch. 

Techno Training Grounds by Barbara buss osborn 

A look at the American Film Institute and the Banff Centre for the Arts. 

Voyager Vision by michele Shapiro 

The Independent talks with Bob Stein of the Voyager Company. 

Intimate Interactivity: Creating Safer-Sex 
Softwar 




COVER: As a relatively unexplored medi 

affords independent makers the opportunity to create new languages 
and structural possibilities. The 3-D animated dream sequence from 
the virtual-reality piece Archeology of a Mother Tongue by Toni Dove and 
Michael Mackenzie (pictured) is one creative work that Barbara 
Osborn discusses in her feature "Write on the Money," which e 
writing nonlinear narrative for interactive Media. Also in this is 
Luke Matthew Hones and Patricia Thomson explore the Internet and 
Clay Gordon delivers the low-down on interactive delivery syste*"' 

Cover photo courtesy 
Toni Dove an J * 



£*aar 



i h e Net 



The Art of the Internet by luke Matthew hones 

Everyone's talking about "the net." Find out why and what's on it for mediamakers. 

The MBONE's Connected 

tO the Backbone by Patricia Thomson 

The Internet's not just about text anymore. With MBONE and CU-SeeMe software, 
video transmissions are possible. 



The Superhighway 



280-Million Channels and 

Nothing On by Clay Gordon 

Video on demand is supposed to change to fut 
the current test systems — and looks 



ordon sizes up 



Media News 



LA.C.E. ai 




Postcards'Shoot: Something to Write 
Home About by kimberly jean smith 
Sarajevo Film Fesr 
Symbolic Gesture 
Sequels 



From start 



L- 


L 


\- 


Ln 


f 



to finish. 



Video Dub does it all. 



• Post-production 

• Customization 



• Duplication 

• Distribution 



From editing to broadcast and high volume VHS duplication 

to distribution - whatever your needs, Video Dub does it for you! 

So call us today, and get the whole job done. 




VIDEO DUB INC. 



mi 



423 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019 (212) 757-3300 
235 Pegasus Avenue, Northvale, NJ 07647 (201) 767-7077 

A Video Services Corporation Company 

1-800-88-DUB-IT 



4 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 4 



A^edKaNews 



Edited by Michele Shapiro 




Two fixtures of L.A.'s downtown arts 
scene, Los Angeles Contemporary 
Exhibitions (L.A.C.E.) and 
FILMFORUM, have chosen to settle into 
a new, more centrally located space on 
Hollywood Boulevard. The new location, 
formerly the Newberry School of Beauty 
building, at 6522 Hollywood Boulevard, is 
sandwiched between two landmarks: 
Frederick's of Hollywood and Playmates, 
both purveyors of crotch-slit panties and 
peek-a-boo nighties. But just as 
Frederick's has come to symbolize 
Hollywood camp, L.A.C.E. and FILMFO- 
RUM have come to symbolize the vitality 
of Los Angeles' independent media-arts 
community. Will the organizations' focus 
shift with the new location? "Not really," 
says Gwen Darien, executive director of 
L.A.C.E. "After all, we're not going 
Hollywood, we're going to Hollywood 
Boulevard." 

Hollywood Boulevard is home to nearly 
as many homeless poets and muttering 
crazies as L.A.C.E.'s original Industrial 
Street location in Los Angeles' warehouse 
district, with one important difference: 
Any hour of any day, Hollywood 
Boulevard draws a crowd. "Being in 
Hollywood is no more glamorous," says 
L.A.C.E. board member Mario Tamayo. 
"It's as rough as downtown, but down- 
town is just too lonely and scary. As long 
as there's a crowd around, you feel safe." 

As for the reason behind the move, 
Darien says L.A.C.E. is going the way of 
other galleries. "When we moved into the 
Industrial Street location, there were 30 
galleries downtown. Now there is only 
one. In Hollywood, we'll be in a central 
location for the arts," she observes. 



Richard Amromin, former administrative 
director of FILMFORUM, agrees: "A few 
years ago, there were a lot of people who 
still had hopes for downtown. But now, 
most everyone's idealism has caught up 
with reality. There really is no community 
downtown. Everyone else is gone. 
L.A.C.E. was one of the last." 

The new L.A.C.E. space is scheduled to 
open on New Year's Eve. It features a 
large office and gallery space, screening 
rooms, performance space, window gal- 
leries, and a bookstore-cafe. Darien says 
she hopes to establish an outlet for the 
work of local video artists through infor- 
mal screenings in the cafe and a selection 
of art videos for sale in the bookstore. 
"We generally want to expand all of our 
programs and to expand our video 
library," she says. The library currently 
houses eight years worth of L.A.C.E. 
video exhibits by local artists. The open- 
ing program, set to run from mid-January 
through March 1994, will include video 
presentations curated by Charles Gaines, 
Paul McCarthy, Stephan Prina, and Fran 
Seegul. 

In the late eighties, L.A.C.E. joined 
forces with FILMFORUM, an ongoing 
showcase for independent, experimental, 
and progressive media, and the two have 
worked together to present 
complimentary programming over the 
years. But as John Stout, FILMFORUM's 
executive director, explains, "There is one 
important difference. FILMFORUM has 
always been active in bringing program- 
ming to the community. We have orga- 
nized shows at Beyond Baroque, Self Help 
Graphics, and Kaos South Central." At 
press time, FILMFORUM planned to join 
L.A.C.E. at its new space in February. 
The organization will present "Scratching 
the Belly of the Beast: Cutting Edge 



Maya Deren's Meshes in the Afternoon 

will be screened in Los Angeles at 

FILMFORUM's 8-week festival, 

"Scratching at the Belly of the Beast: 

Cutting Edge Media in Los Angeles, 

1928-94," beginning in February. 

Courtesy FILMFORUM 



Media in Los Angeles, 1928-94," an 
eight-week, citywide festival of screenings, 
tributes, and roundtable discussions cele- 
brating Southern California's tradition of 
alternative media production and exhibi- 
tion beginning on February 10. The Los 
Angeles run of the festival will be fol- 
lowed by national and international tours. 
Contributors to the festival catalog, which 
features photographs, stills, and historical 
and critical essays, include Kenneth 
Anger, Todd Boyd, Terry Cannon, 
Morgan Fisher, Anne Friedberg, Albert 
Kilchesty, Berenice Reynaud, Eric 
Sherman, Jon Stout, and Holly Willis. 
Published by FILMFORUM, the cata- 
logue will be sold in the L.A.C.E. book- 
store and at all festival events for $5. 

Joanne Hanley, chair of L.A.C.E.'s 
video committee has high hopes for future 
collaborations. "There will be so many 
moving images, electronic and chemical 
arts, and new technologies all in one 
place. Not just L.A.C.E. and FILMFO- 
RUM, but L.A.C.P.S. (Los Angeles 
Center for Photographic Studies) and 
others." 

Another distinct advantage of the move 
is L.A.C.E.'s ability to attract out-of- 
towners en route to Mann's Chinese 
Theater or other local attractions. "We 
wanted to expand the audience. This 
location will allow us to reach even the 
tourists," Tamayo notes. "Imagine! These 
people can just walk down the street, and 
they'll be able to wander in and experi- 
ence real art, something that can open 
their eyes." 

Julia Robinson Shimizu 

Julia Robinson Shimizu is a Los Angeles-area writer who 

divides her free time between movies, museum, & naps. 

COALITION FOCUSES 

ON PUBLIC INTEREST IN 

INFORMATION AGE 

A coalition of more than 70 organizations 
was formed recently to bring public-inter- 
est issues to the forefront in government 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 5 






< 

HI 
OC oo 

^ to 

LU <£ 

On 



Feature Film Financing Seminar 

January 29th 6:00 RM. to 9:00 RM. 

Learn the proven steps to producing a low-buget 

feature with little or no money to start. This 

intense three hours session will guide you through 

every aspect of production. 

Seminar fee only $40.00. Location: MTW, 440 Lafayette Street. 





*Starting a small production company 

*Financing your low-budget feature 

*Shooting your film 

Guest speakers. Seating is limited. Register by phone only (212)465 2698. 



AFI advanced technology programs 



the digital revolution has begun 



The computer is creating a revolution in imaging and the entertainment 
community that will affect your career, your company, your opportunities. 

interactive technology 
training AFI Winter '94 



INTERACTIVE HOLLYWOOD 
3rd Tuesday of the month, 
February- April, 7 pm. 
Fee: $20. 

"The interactive salon" is 
hosted by Harry Marks, one of 
the world's most influential 
broadcast designers. His love 
affair with design and a fascina- 
tion with emerging desktop 
tools that could put almost total 
creative control on his desktop 
computer led him to a system- 
atic exploration of interactive 
media. Every month salon 
attendees share discoveries in 
Interactive Multimedia, born of 
his insatiable curiosity and the 
access afforded by the prestige 
his reputation carries. 



TRAINING: 

• Basic Interactive Media: The 
Concepts, The Business and 
The Tools 

• Basic HyperCard 

• Advanced HyperCard 

• Apple Media Toolkit 

• Basic MacroMedia Director 

• MacroMedia Director: 
Scripting & Lingo 

• Master Class: MacroMedia 
Director 

• Script X 

• Designing for Children's 
Interactive 

• Interactive Fiction: 
Transformation of Classic 

Structure 

• Advanced Interactive Design 

• Virtual Reality: How Real is 
Real 

• Interactive Game Design 



£9 

Era 



The American Film Institute 

For brochure with a complete listing of the Winter '94 course 
offerings or registration: (213) 856-7690 
For the AFI Hotline: (213) 856-7664 



decisions regarding telecommunications 
zpolicy. In October, the coalition, called 
the Telecommunications Policy Round- 
table, unveiled a blueprint for the emerg- 
ing information infrastructure in the U.S. 
The blueprint includes a policy statement 
that calls on the President and Congress 
to "pursue a broad and public-interest 
vision for the National Information 
Infrastructure" rather than relying solely 
on big-business interests to shape policy 
decisions. 

At press time, the coalition had met on 
three occasions and had received cover- 
age in both the New York Times and 
Variety. According to Jeff Chester, of the 
Center for Media Education, one of the 
Roundtable's cofounders, this is the first 
time since the late sixties or early seven- 
ties that a major coalition of public-inter- 
est groups has been formed to deal with 
telecommunications policy. Many insiders 
believe the coalition, with a strategic 
alliance of nonprofit, consumer, labor, 
and civil-rights groups — including the 
American Library Association, the 
American Council for the Blind, and the 
Association of America's Public Televi- 
sion Stations, among others — has the 
potential to capture the ear of Washing- 
ton policymakers. 

Where do independent and noncommer- 
cial mediamakers fit into the picture? 
Tbeir concerns are represented on the 
Roundtable by three organizations: the 
Association of Independent Video and 
Filmmakers (AIVF), the National Alli- 
ance of Media Arts and Culture 
(NAM AC), and the Alliance for Com- 
munity Media (ACM). 

At this juncture, there are many ques- 
tions surrounding the development of the 
new information networks: Who will own 
them. 7 Who will control the content? 
Who will have access to them? The 
Roundtable has articulated seven princi- 
ples which, if reflected in future legisla- 
tion and regulations, would safeguard a 
place tor independent production as well 
as many noncommercial applications of 
the information infrastructure. These 
include: Universal Access; Freedom to 
Communicate; and a Vital Civic Sector. 

The Universal Access principle states 
that in the information age, everyone has 
a right to affordable news, education, and 
government information. In addition, it 
stipulates information that is essential to 
the functioning of citizens in a democracy 
should be available free of charge. 

The Freedom to Communicate princi- 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 6 






SV 




pie deems information a two-way street 
and adds that the design of the new net- 
works should aid two-way audio and 
video communication from any individu- 
al, group, or network. 

Lastly, the Vital Civic Sector principle 
argues that new networks should allow all 
groups and individuals to freely express 
their ideas and opinions, and that they 
should include a way for users to build 
communities. 

Despite their disarming simplicity, the 
principles challenge the objectives of the 
communications industry's most powerful 
sectors. For example, one principle calling 
for a "diverse and competitive market- 
place" explicitly states that "no one 
should ever control the wire(s) into our 
homes and the content of the programs 
that go over those wires." This principle 
contradicts the present modus operandi of 
the cable industry and the future designs 
of the telephone companies, many of 
which have already invested in joint ven- 
tures with cable operators. 

The most dramatic bid for control over 
content and conduit is represented by Bell 
Atlantic's proposed merger with 
Telecommunications, Inc., the largest 
cable company in the U.S. In addition to 
its cable delivery systems, TCI owns sig- 
nificant percentages of several program- 
ming entities, including Turner 
Broadcasting. 

The coalition's blueprint comes less 
than a month after the Clinton adminis- 
tration released its own, called "National 
Information Infrastructure: Agenda for 
Action." The Clinton administration's 
blueprint envisions a national network 
linking computer, telephone, and televi- 
sion technologies. Roundtable member 
James Love of Ralph Nader's Taxpayer 
Assets Project characterizes the adminis- 
tration's "Agenda for Action" as a "vast 
disappointment" because it is vague in 
many important areas and "ignores the 
far-reaching changes in regulatory policies 



7 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



Illustration: Matt Wuerker 



over the last 12 years on a wide range of 
public- interest issues designated to pro- 
mote a diversity of views, noncommercial 
programming, and democratic dialogue." 

One could argue that the history of 
communications policy in the U.S. has 
been the product of collaborations 
between the federal government and the 
big-business interests that it is supposed to 
regulate. From time to time, however, 
noncommercial interests, such as the 
newly formed Roundtable, have organized 
and forced a consideration of the "public 
interest" in communication's policy. The 
organizing has resulted in precedents such 
as "universal service" in the national tele- 
phone system and the creation of the 
Public Broadcasting System. A statement 
issued by the Telecommunications Policy 
Roundtable warns that unless a public- 
interest spirit guides policy development, 
"many of the shortcomings of our present 
telecommunications system will be inten- 
sified." 

Currently the Roundtable is working on 
the creation of model communications 
legislation and hopes to develop activities 
that will encourage more public-interest 
participation in the development of poli- 
cy. The coalition intends to uphold the 
final principle of its blueprint, which 
states, "The public should be fully 
involved in policy making for the informa- 
tion infrastrucure... the issues are not nar- 
row technical matters which will only 
affect us as consumers; they are funda- 
mental questions that will have profound 
effects on us as citizens and could reshape 
our democracy." 

For more information on the 
Roundtable, contact: Martha Wallner, 
Advocacy coordinator, AIVF at (212) 
473-3400. 

Martha Wallner 

Martha Wallner is advocacy coordinator for the 

Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers. 



CALL FOR WORK 

Through The 
Lens 4 



WYBE TV 35, Channel 35, Philadelphia's 
innovative public television station 
seeks work for a series featuring film 
and video from independent media 
artists from around the nation. This 10 
hour series airs in a weekly prime time 
slot each Spring. 

All styles are welcome! 

Shorts up to 30 minutes are preferred. 
Acquisition fee is $25 per minute. 



DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS 
JANUARY 14TH 1994 



ENTRY FORMS: 
Through The Lens 

WYBE TV 35 

6117 Ridge Avenue 

Philadelphia, PA 19128 

(215) 483-3900 

FAX (215) 483-6908 



INDEPENDENCE PUBLIC MEDIA OF PHILADELPHIA 



YOUNG FILMMAKER'S 
CAREER-STARTING PACKAGE: 



John Russo's CHEAP THRILLS 



How To Make and Distribute Your Own 
Movie on Ten Thousand Dollars or Less! 
You get all this... 

G^The 1 20-page book, CHEAP THRILLS, astep-by- 
step instructional guide that will show you how to 
write, budget, raise the money, cast, shoot, edit and 
distribute your own movie on $10,000 dollars or 
less. 

[S^A VHS cassette of MIDNIGHT 2, so you can see 
first-hand how Russo's methods succeeded - and 
can thoroughly understand how to put those 
methods into practice, while avoiding some of the 
mistakes he will point out. 

Of A complete set of legal and business forms you will 
require for making deals with investors, setting up 
a limited partnership, signing up actors and crew, 
etc. Save $$$ in legal fees! 

L¥ The four-volume- 5-hour edited VHS tapes of 
JOHN RUSSO'S FILMMAKING SEMINAR. 
Enrollees paid $300 each to attend, plus costs of air 
fares, hotels, etc., and unanimously felt that they 
got more than their money's worth. 

HorcorHallofPamer.JohnRusso'sMAK- 
ING MOVIES was called "the film school 
in a book" and was bailed by industry 
professionals and aspiring amateurs as "the 
bible of independent filmmaking." His 
follow-up book SCARE TACTICS was 
nominated for a Bram Stoker Award. 

Now, using his own $10,000 movie 
MIDNIGHT 2 as an example, John Russo 
takes you step by step through the whole 
process of jump-starling your dreams and 
putting yourself in business as an 
independent movie-maker. 



All for only 

M49.95 

Post Paid 



TO ORDER, CALL (800) 926-6653 



or send check/M.O. for $149.95 to: 

Imagine, Inc, P.O. Box 9674 

Dept I., PGH, PA 15226 



THE INDEPENDENT 




M ak in g a Film or Video in the Visual Arts? 



2 ART 
2 ON 
FILM 



o 
o 

vC 

cu ■■■■■■■ m 



Program for Art on Film 
Department lb 
980 Mad'uon Avenue 
New York, NY 10021 



Art On Film Gives You 
The Full Picture. 

In today's competitive film world, under-researched means under-funded. Fortunately, for film and video mak- 
ers in the visual arts, the Art on Film Database Service offers a simple, inexpensive and thorough approach to 
film research. 

The Art on Film Database contains information on over 18,000 films and videos in the visual arts from more 
than 70 countries. It's convenient. It's extensive. And it's the essential first step to help you: 

• Bolster Funding Propodald — Search for films in your subject area to prove the uniqueness of your project and 
its contribution to the field. 

• Profit from Colleague Work — Search for a technique, time or medium — make your production flawless. 

• Review Experience of Collaborators — Search for cinematographers, directors and editors to review their past 
work in visual arts film and video. 

• Target Potential Didtributord — Search to identify distributors who handle works similar to yours. 

Easy on your budget, Art on Film charges per search, not per hour. The low one-time only sign-up fee 
includes your first search. For quick questions, a telephone "ready reference service" is free to subscribers. 

If you 're making a film or video in the visual arto, get the full picture. Call Art on Film today at (212) 988-4876 
or dend ud a fax at (212) 628-8963. 

A joint venture of The Metropolitan Mtueum of Art ano* the ./. Paul Getty Taut 



X COMMUNICATION 







Blackboard Entertainment Presents 



^IS* 






<o*^ ** 






America's 



SjVi 



V 



COLLEGE VIDEO 



Competition 



^ ^^ 



c_> o 



VjjbV^ 



Calling generation X. 

Blackboard Entertainment invites college students across the country to grab a camcorder 

and speak out on the issues of your generation. grand prizes include a summer internship for 

academic credit with mtv news and $ 1 ooo in cash. look for details at your college campus or call 

415-249-3040. $15 processing fee per submission. call for entries until april 1,1994. 

Major Sponsors: Videomaker Magazine and Birkenstock Shoes 



MVf 



12 REASONS TO 

JOIN AIVF 

TODAY 

1. The Independent 

2. Festival Bureau Services 

3. Information Services 

4. Networking 

5. Advocacy 

6. Discounted Books 

7. Access to Insurance 

8. Professional Service 

Discounts 
9. Seminars 
10. Distribution Info 
11. Members' Tape Library 
12. Other Member Privi- 
leges 




mm 

"-■■■■■■■■ 

>■■ Hi ""'"■■ '■ 

B BHBB W1 

mw Bmmmm n 



nmmm 



•'.'**!/ 



mq 



wg 



■maM 



■■•■■■■■:.'■■•" 4' ■■'■•^ ■ ■ 

■ • ■ Bra ■' ■■■ : - " 

<* ! - * BfHMMKR 

■"■-..■.■.'■'■■■,■,■;.■■■■ 
'■••'.■-.■• 

\ ■ "• ' •-'■'■ ■ 



w 



irv^H** 



-n 






x-v 



>/*i: 






*< 






■ T 4 : 






■£«i 



■ 



■ • ■■ 



IfflStR 



':,]*$ 






*>"*> 



■ 



W 



<'-'•,:'•." 



■ 



:y«M 



I 



■i 



POSTCARDS' SHOOT: 

SOMETHING TO 
WRITE HOME ABOUT 

While filming scenes for the upcoming 
independent feature Postcards from 
America in the California desert last 
September, producer Christine Vachon 
and production manager John Bruce 
encountered a series of stranger-than-fic- 
tion mishaps that culminated in Bruce's 
arrest by local police officers. 

Postcards from America, based on the 



of course it is; I'm in produc- 
tion. 

Approximately 45 minutes of roadside 
drunk-driving tests followed, Bruce 
recalled, and he was then taken to an 
abandoned WalMart parking lot, where a 
dozen more officers were waiting to 
administer Breathalyzer tests. "I'm think- 
ing they'll finally realize they made a mis- 
take. They're going to apologize and let 
me go," said Bruce, who had now been in 
custody for more than three hours. 
Instead, officers asked him what drugs he 
was using and whether or not he was a 




Michael Imperioli in Postcards from America, a feature film based on the writings of artist David Wojnarowicz. 

Photo: Joyce George 



writings of the late gay artist David 
Wojnarowicz, brings the author's personal 
battles to the screen. The film's director, 
Steve McLean, chose the desert area 
around Twentynine Palms, California, as 
a setting for the film because it evoked 
the haunting feel of Wojnarowicz's writ- 
ings about the rural American landscape, 
where he saw the reflections of a troubled 
society. 

According to Vachon, trouble began for 
her crew on the second day of the four- 
day shoot when a rental car, carrying 
most of the crew's water supply and a 
spare tire (but no jack) got a flat on an 
isolated stretch of desert road. Problems 
peaked again early the next morning 
when John Bruce was arrested for drunk 
driving and held in police custody for 
seven hours. 

At about 12:30 a.m. on September 9, 
Bruce was driving Vachon and another 
crew member back from a local bar to 
their hotel when a sheriff pulled the car 
over. "The cop kept saying, 'Your pulse is 
high, and you're shivering,'" said Bruce 
about the battery of drug tests the sheriffs 
officers put him through. "I thought, 



homosexual. He was then carted off to 
jail. 

According to Julian Schamus, a 
California attorney hired to represent 
Bruce, his client's .03 alcohol level mea- 
sured well below California's legal limit of 
.08. He added that all charges against his 
client were later dropped due to lack of 
evidence. But Vachon, who said she felt 
alienated throughout the four-day shoot, 
has no plans to return to Twentynine 
Palms. "We were a bunch of New 
Yorkers, and we didn't look like them," 
she said. "They were mostly U.S. marines 
and straight older people." 

When contacted by The Independent, 
Karen VandenHaut, executive director of 
Twentynine Palms' Chamber of Com- 
merce, said she was not familiar with 
Vachon's production and added that the 
local community welcomes and includes 
gay people. "A lot of the time [film] peo- 
ple come with the perception that the 
people who live here are stupid." she said. 
"They can have a condescending attitude 
that creates problems." 

Bruce said he's not sure what the under- 
lying source of the difficulties was, but he 
is glad his story had a happy ending. "It's 




Multimedia is tricky 

When it jumps off your 
desktop, where is it going to 
go? Don't be surprised if you 
have to chase your vision 
down to ESPI, where small 
formats, full broadcast quality 
and the latest computers all 
come to interface. 
•Computer output from Mac, 
PC, & SGI (Softimage, Alias 
and Wavefront) to BetaSP. 

•Paint, animate, capture and 
scan on state of the art Mac 
and Indigo 2 systems in our 
Digital Image Lab. 

•Component Online with EFX 
and paintbox for $175.00/hr. 
RGB computer output and 
postscript fonts are online! 

•Broadcast Quality from Hi8, 
3/4SP,SVHS or BetaSP at 
in our cuts only rooms. Cut 
your reel at special rates. 

•BetaSP packages starting at 
$400.00/day. Three days to 
a week on Hi 8 rentals ! 

•IMC robotic video stand, for 
real-time 2D slide & picture 



animation. 



ERIC 




PRODUCTIONS, INC. 

15 West 26th Street 
NYC, NY 10010 
212 481-ESPI (3774) 



9 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 9 



Ray Benjamin Video 



29 West 15th Street 
New York, NY 10011 
2 12-242-4820 

Post Production Services 

On-Line / Off -Line 
Hi8-3/4"SP & 3/4"SP-3/4"SP 

8 tracks of audio for video 

Titles - Graphics - Digital FX 

Toaster 4000 w/Amilink Controller 

Window Dubs 

Hi8 - 3/4"SP - 3/4" 
SVHS - VHS 

Production Services 

Hi8 acquisition 
Studio on premises 

Reasonable Rates 

Clients include: Ad Agencies, Major 

Corporations, Documentary and 

Independent Producers 

12 years experience. 
Patience and guidance are free. 



TAKX2 A. 



gj 


'a 


E0g|l 


1 


p]a|s 



Intro to Multimedia $85 

2-6 PM, Jan. 29; Feb. 26 

Desktop Video $190 

Quicktime & Premiere 
7:30 -10 PM, Feb.24, Mar.3&10 

Macromedia Director $190 

7:30 -10 PM, Feb. 1,8, & 15 

Audio/Video Sync $190 

7:30 -10 PM, Feb. 28, Mar. 7 & 14 

Digital Image Processing $190 
7:30 -10 PM, Jan. 31, Feb. 7&21 

and many others. ..call for more info 



Studio PASS , a program of 
Harvestworks. Inc. 



596 Broadway, #602 
NYC 10012 212-431-1130 



PRODUCTION = PROBLEMS 

Once upon a time, two movies began shooting on the same day... 

One had Panavision, helicopters, 
big stars and fabulous food. 

The other had Super-16, a ladder, 
the director's cousin and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. 

Both pictures went so far over budget 
the producers may never work again. 

Experience is a great teacher, 
but lessons are not as painful or costly at 



NUTS&BOLTSr 



ROBERT 
BORDIGAS 




PRODUCTION SEMINAR I 



Master the Method Behind the Magic . . . 

■ Break down and prepare a script for production. 

■ Schedule a board and budget a category. 

■ Experience first-hand how critical decisions are made. 

■ Learn about the latest industry conditions and rates. 

■ Take home 300+ pages of guidelines/forms/budgets. 

LA FEB. 25-27 * 1-800-755-PROD * NY MAR. 18-20 



so fascinating that the process of making 
Postcards so mirrored David [Wojna- 
rowicz's] life," he said. "And I can say this 
more freely knowing there's not a warrant 
out for my arrest." 

Postcards from America will premiere in 
February at the Berlin International Film 
Festival. 

Kimberly Jean Smith 
Kimberly jean Smith is a Manhattan-based writer. 



SARAJEVO FILM FEST 

MORE THAN A 
SYMBOLIC GESTURE 

Sarajevo's principal exports seem to be 
imagery and misery, but from October 22 
to November 3 the city experienced an 
infusion of international cinema during 
the Beyond the Edge of the World 
Festival. Despite numerous setbacks, 
among them a momentary cancellation of 
the event, about 100 films, including titles 
lent by Jonathan Demme and Francis 
Ford Coppola, were exhibited in video 
format during eight daily screenings at 
three theaters around the city. 

Among the highlights of the opening 
week were Bill Tribe's Urbicide: A 
Sarajevo Diary and the world premiere of 
Romain Goupi's Lettre pour L-Y. There 
were also children's films and a handful of 
U.S. independent works, including 
Camille Billops and James Hatch's Finding 
Christa. 

For a festival poster, photographer 
Annie Liebovitz donated a shot of a boy 
taking a high dive from a bridge as a 
crowd of Sarajevans watch from along the 
water's edge. One onlooker wears a 
Batman T-shirt. The motifs of risk and 
rescue seem to express daily existence in 
the beleaguered city. 

Mexican filmmaker Dana Rotberg, a 
festival organizer, originally travelled to 
Sarajevo last summer to make a docu- 
mentary but decided against a perfunctory 
project. "The only thing for a foreigner is 
CNN-type reportage. So I decided to stay 
there and live there," she said during an 
October trip to Chicago to serve on the 
Chicago International Film Festival jury. 
Lending her Hi 8 camera to the cause, she 
joined SAGA, a documentary collective 
in Sarajevo that screened work at the San 
Francisco International Film Festival. 

In a press statement, Rotberg called the 
festival "more than a symbolic gesture. It's 



10 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 10 



an artistic action directed against the 
physical and emotional violence that sur- 
rounds the city." 

Bill Stamets 
Bill Stamets is a freelance writer and super-8 filmmaker 

based in Chicago. 



SEQUELS 



The results of the Independent Television 
Service's (ITVS) 1993 Open Call are in. 
ITVS recently announced 32 new produc- 
tions recommended for funding, 19 more 
projects than were funded by 1992's Open 
Call ["ITVS' Trial by Fire," March 1993]. 
Six regional panels, the result of a 
Congressional mandate that ordered 
ITVS to fund projects representing "the 
widest possible geographic distribution," 
included members of the independent 
film- and videomaking and public televi- 
sion communities. The panels selected 
the winning entries from more than 1,000 
proposals submitted. 

Film- and videomakers recommended 
for funding are: Austin Allen (Cleveland, 
OH); Zeinabu irene Davis (Chicago, IL) 
Helen De Michiel (Minneapolis, MN) 
Kate Kirtz and Nell Lundy (Chicago, IL) 
Chris Spotted Eagle (Minneapolis, MN) 
Karen Cooper (Haworth, NJ); Marlon E. 
Fuentes (Philadelphia, PA); Jane Gillooly 
(Cambridge, MA); Theodore Lyman 
(Richmond, VT); John Bright Mann 
(Baltimore, MD); Frances Negron- 
Mutaner (Philadelphia, PA); Lisa Marie 
Russo (Philadelphia, PA); Anne Craig 
and Maia Harris (New Orleans, LA); 
Robby Henson (Danville, KY); William 
Hudson (Decatur, GA); Nietzchka Keene 
(Miami Beach, FL); Anne Lewis Johnson 
(Whitesburg, KY); Maria Michiyu 
Gargiulo (Seattle, WA) ; Laurence Goldin 
(Jeaneau, AK); Philip Mallory Jones 
(Tempe, AZ); Sandy Osawa (Seattle, 
WA); Stevan Smith (Kent, WA); J. 
Clements (San Francisco, CA); Tina 
DiFeliciantonio and Jane Wagner (San 
Francisco, CA); Alfred Hernandez (San 
Francisco, CA); Jesse Lerner and Ruben 
Ortiz Torrez (Los Angeles, CA); Nina 
Menkes (W. Los Angeles, CA); Michael 
Wallin (San Francisco, C A) ; Indu 
Krishnan (New York, NY); Ruth 
Lounsbury and Marina Zurkow (New 
York, NY); Greta Schiller (New York, 
NY); and Elia Suleiman (New York, NY). 

ITVS also recently announced the elec- 



11 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



MIT Media Lab Cleans Out Closets! 

Used Equipment Now Available 

HI-8 PECK Sony EVO-9800 Feeder Deck. 9-pin ser. ctl. $3,500 
ONE INCH VCRJ Ampex VPR2-B w/TBC-28 Time Base 
Corrector. AST heads (dynamic tracking) perfect still frames and 
slomo, plus reverse play. SMPTE Reader-Gen; Parallel ctl interface, 
V-lan network control interface avail. Several mach avail. $7,500 
ea; Ampex VPR1C one inch VTR: Console unit, with TBC-2. Mon. 
bridge incl. Machine has AST heads. SMPTE Reader-Gen; Parallel 
control. Extender boards, docs. Conrac 1 3" mon. $3,500; Ampex 
Model TRE-2, simple edit controller for cuts-only control of two 
VPR2-Bs, $800; Search-to-Cue controller for Ampex VPR. 
Stores cues taken from 1 " tapes. A utolocates to cue, full remote 
control. Holds 99 cues in memory. $ 600; 1 " tape on reels, $9ea 
3/4 VIDEO Editing System-Sony 5800/5850 Cuts only. 
Includes RM-440 Editor, cables and dub cable $4,200; JVC CR- 
8200 Record mach for Edit Suite. Can be TBC'd. JVC 45-pin par. 
$900; JVC CR-6600U Recorder/source machine for edit suite. 
$700; JVC CP-5500 Source Deck $600. Note: these decks can 
be TBC'd, Ext sync, SC, Para JVC 45-pin interface. Control using 
RM-70, RM-82, RM-88, or RM-86 edit controllers. See below... 
EPIT CONTROLLER, JVC RM-86U. Cuts-only Ctl Track Editor. 
Insert or assemble traditional style. Parallel JVC (45-pin) with 
cables. $550; 3/4" tapes: 30 min $6, 60 min $8 ea. Used once. 
LASERPISK PLAYERS Sony LDP- 1000 Can be controlled via 
RS-232. Has IR remote. Standard Laserdisk format $200; 
Videodisc Player Digital Equip Corp VDP-50 laserdisc player. 
Standard format. RS-232 control. No controls on front. $1 75. 
production SWITCHERS Grass Valley 1 600: 1 sources, 
effects bus, 64 patterns. E-mem, ser ctl, cables, full docs $6,000; 
Video Switcher Sony SEG-25S0 with E-mem. 8 inputs, 4 busses. 
Self-contained. 1 37 wipe patterns. Ser interface. $4,000; 
AUPIO recorders Portable 1/4" Nagra FV-L by Kudelski, 
Switzerland. Mono: 1/4" Full Track for Motion Picture Sync 
Recording. Lacks mic preamps (avail elsewhere) and 60 Hz crystal. 
Pilotone (sync) model. Lacks carrying case. $2,100; Tape Syn- 
chronizer, 1/4" Nagra SL0 for the Nagra 3, 4, IV, etc. Oscilloscope 
shows servo corr. $1,800; 8 track 1" Sony/MCI JH-110: A 
workhorse of an analog recorder. DBX incl for all 8 tracks. High 
perform. Low hours. In console. $4,000; Remote control for above, 
$400; 2 Track Sony APR 5003-Has built-in Chase Synchron- 
izer, SMPTE Gen and Reader $3,700; Sony APR-2003 Portable, 
1/4" 2 trk r/r, w/SMPTE track $380; Akal GXC 760D cassette 
rec, with resolver for crystal sync transfers, rack mount $250 
MICROPHONE, STUDIO Sennhelser Mkh-405 Cardiod-RF 
condenser mic. A/B Powering. $1 60. 

CAMERAS, VIDEO CCD Sony DXC-3000 3-chip cam w/power 
supply and 2 cables $2,800; 3 Tube Ikigami ITC -350. AC 
Power supply, cables, service manual $400. 
HIM Rewinds, $100; 8/1 6mm Maier-Hancock Traditional hot 
splicer. $1 1 0. Other film items avail, ask for list. 
Terms are cash and carry, as-is condition, fob Cambridge. 
For more details, contact Stuart Cody, MIT Media Lab El 5-435, 
20 Ames St., Cambridge MA 021 42. Tel (61 7) 253-0303 



************** 

ENZIAN THEATER 
PRESENTS 



JUNE 3 TO 12 1 994 



CALL 



FOR 



ENTRIES! 



DEADLINE: APRIL 1 

ENTRY FORMS: 

FLORIDA FILM FESTIVAL 

ENZIAN THEATER 

1300 S. ORLANDO AVE. 

MAITLAND, FL 32751 

407/629-1088 • FAX 407/629-6870 

************** 



THE NEW SCHOOL 



PERSPECTIVE 



ON THE MEDIA. 



Today's global communications revolution is having a profound effect on our lives 
and the evolving world around us. The New School's Master of Arts in Media Studies 
Program is designed for those committed to understanding and working in the 
exciting field of media. 

Since 1975, we have provided a program that combines communication theory 
and production. Our program is for the student who wants to develop a critical 
understanding of the media as well as the capacity to produce messages in a variety of 
forms and genres. 

Our students and faculty are a dynamic and diverse group of individuals from all 
over the world. Together, they participate in an equally diverse curriculum, composed 
of courses in communication theory, cultural studies, corporate communications, and 
video, film and audio production. They have the added benefit of studying in New 
York, a city that continually impacts communications, nationally and worldwide. 

In the New School tradition, our program is highly individualized and flexible. 
We also offer an On-Line Program in which students can complete courses 
interactively via computer conferencing. 

For a catalog, call toll-free 1-800-544-1910 Ext. 52. To speak with an advisor call 
the number below. 



^ The New School 



66 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10011 



212-229-5530 §2 



THE INDEPENDENT 11 



JOHN RUSSO'S FILMMAKING & WRITING SEMINAR 



Study Filmmaking & Writing in the city where NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, INNOCENT 
BLOOD, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS & STRIKING DISTANCE were filmed! 

This 3-day Workshop in Pittsburgh is your big chance to learn first-hand from JOHN RUSSO, the co-author and co-producer of 
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, writer/producer/director of nine other movies, author of thirteen published novels, and author 
ofMAKINGMOVESandSCARETACTICS: The Art, Craft&Trade Secrets ofWritir^Producir^&DirectingChmers&Thrillers! 
If you're aiming to write and sell your ownnovel or screenplay or make 
and market your own movie, you can't afford not to attend uus unique 
seminar. Here are just a few of the key topics that will be covered: 

♦ How to Make Your Hot • Raising Money 
Concept into a Whole Story • Securing Agenting and 

• Building Suspense into a Plot Distribution 
Developing Blurbs, Outlines • The Ins & Outs of Producing 

& Directing 

1 Props, Costumes & Locations 
' Cinematography & Scoring 

Send Check or M.O. to: Imagine, Inc., 
Box 9674, Dept L, Pgh, PA 15226 



& Treatments 
1 Packaging & Pitching Your 
Projects 



APRIL 22, 23, 24, 1994 

Pittsburgh • Holiday Inn - Pky East 
Special $59.^ Hotel Rate 

Only $300.g> for all 3 Days! 



You will also receive these FREE items: 



CHEAP THRILLS & THE COMPLETE NIGHT 
OF THE LIVING DEAD FILMBOOK and the 
MIDNIGHT VIDEO! (A $75 .» Value) 



MasterCard & Visa Orders Call Toll Free 1-800-926-6653 



COUUER 

&SANDS 



Independent 
Insurance Brokers 

All Forms of Insurance 



56 Beaver St. #801 

New York, NY 10004-2436 

tel: 212-742-9850' fax:212-742-0671 

Contact: Debra Kozee 

Members: AICP, AIVF, IFP & NYWIF 



HM RIFKEN PRODUCTIONS INC. 

P.O. Box 222 • 21 Glenwood Ave. 
Leonia, New Jersey 07605 



EXPERIENCED CAMERAMAN OFFERS: 

PRE AND POST PRODUCTION SERVICES 
COMPLETE FIELD PACKAGE 
FULL INSURANCE COVERAGE 

NARRATIVE 
DOCUMENTARY • TRAINING VIDEOS 

Plus 

Fluent Spanish 

Experience in 

Latin America and Europe 

Clients Include: 

ESPN, NBC, CNN, MTV 

NICKELODEON 

FRONTLINE 

FEATURE VIDEO PRODUCTION COMPANIES 



TEL: (201) 461-5132 
FAX: (201) 461-5013 



PAGER: (201) 996-7599 
NYC (917) 728-0141 



ex # pe # di # tion &'&*&-*) 

n. La A journey undertaken by a group of people 
with a definite objective, b. The group undertaking 
such a journey. 2. Speed in performance; efficient 
promptness. 3. A sending or setting forth. . . 



bat # ter # y 



(bat'e-r6) n....6. Elect, a. Two or 
more connected cells that produce a direct current by 
converting chemical energy to electrical energy... 
7. Film, Video. Expendable power source built for use in 
remote locations, tailored to the task by Andy Berlin and 
Stuart Cody of Automated Media Systems. 

Our Expedition Battery™ is an extremely compact, lightweight, non-rechargeable power 
source assembled specifically for Film and Video production. This lithium battery has been 
engineered by Stuart Cody for safe, reliable operation in hostile environments, from the bitter 
cold of Mount Everest to the desert heat of the Persian Gulf. An ideal solution when you're 
operating away from AC mains. The power source for professionals and amateurs. Standard 
models in stock. Available directly from the manufacturer. Call us for information and pricing. 



® 



=>', ' 3 f 



III 




ZJ-4' 



AUTOMATED MEDIA SYSTEMS 

8 Holton St, Allston, MA 02134-1337 
(617) 7874313 voice; (617) 7874438 fax 



tion of six new members to its board of 
directors. The members include: Claire 
Aguilar, manager of broadcast program- 
ming at KCET in Los Angeles; Joan 
Braderman, video artist and associate pro- 
fessor of television production at 
Hampshire College; Kate Horsfeld, execu- 
tive director of the Video Data Bank in 
Chicago; Edward Hugetz, senior vice pres- 
ident and provost of the University of 
Houston at Clear Lake; Lindsay Law, 
president and executive producer of PBS's 
American Playhouse; and Judy Richardson, 
content advisor and researcher for the 
acclaimed Eyes on the Prize series. The 
new members joined current ITVS board 
members Lawrence Daressa, David 
Ochoa, Jack Willis, and Laura Waterman 
Wittstock. Replacing outgoing president 
James Fellows, Dee Davis of Appalshop 
Films in Kentucky will serve as president 
and chair of the board. 



ERRATA 



An item that appeared in the November "In 
and Out of Production" column improperly 
identified Tom Burnett as codirector of Trail 
of Blood. Ari Roussimoff directed the feature; 
Burnett acts in the film. Trail of Blood is 
available in both 16mm and 35mm, not just 
35mm. 

An error in editing caused a sentence from 
Karen Rosenberg's article on foreign film 
schools ["New Euro Film Schools Woo 
Americans," October 1993] to read as follows: 
"Private language schools in Germany and 
Austria generally offer much lower prices than 
Goethe Institutes in the U.S." The sentence 
should read, "Private language schools in 
Germany and Austria generally offer much 
lower prices than Goethe Institutes in those 
countries." 

In "Southern Exposure," [November 1993], 
one of the media arts centers mentioned by 
Stepheson Palfi was misidentified. The correct 
name is the Louisiana Center for Cultural 
Media. 



12 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 12 





w>mm 

MEMA COMPOSER SUITE -4000 

CREATIVE H 1-8 
PRODUCTION PACKACES 

OFF LINE/ON LINE 
PRODUCTION FACILITY 

BETACAM SP * 3/4 



CALL I - ON 

ON OUR AFFORDABLE RATES 




DISTINCTIVE 

MULTIMEDIA 



212-366-4818 



l T 



O 




MUD 

MUD 

W O A t- © 

16th ANNUAL 
BIG MUDDY FILM FEST 

FEB. 27 -MAR. 6,1994 

CALL FOR ENTRIES 

16mm - 1/2"VHS (NTSC) - 3/4" Umatic] 

DEADLINE -FEB. 1,1994 

Big Muddy Film Fest 

Dept. of Cinema & Photography 

Southern Illinois University at Carbondale 

Carbondale, Illinois 62901 - 618. 453.1482] 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 13 



Illus. p. 14-15 from Archeology of a Mother Tongue, 
by Toni Dove and Michael MacKenzie. 
Courtesy mediamakers 




ii 


u 


m 


p 

/& 


D 
■ 


- 


. # 


, 


y 




* 


/ » 


^^ 


l\\l 




^ -^^1 


rfi [Hi. n 


El 


iM 


Ll-I J 

ST 


in 


r 


jzj 


L 


J 


1 }> 



Writing- i 
linear- - .' 
isrv't it? 
No£ i-f you're 
creating^ 

> <bt virtual 

reality 

'environments. 
hSeveral 'J 

rflediamakers 

«who have 
fbraved the 

new terrain 

I -discuss 
s 
/makincf th^ 

if switch- I 



r. ' 



& 



By Barbara Bixs s Osborn 



/M M 


V ▼ \ ^*- 


4/ 

w 


Hi 

A, 






// 





r r 



"1-4 i THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBR. 



ARY 1994 14 





magine makang a 



mm without ever having seen onex>r writing a 



st ory fiev 



r having refad one. That's what it's like working in interao 



ti/e m|iltipiedia these days. Nobody's got it figured out. There are no 

11 ait 

templates, no blueprints, no grammar. Every new piece creates a new 



radigrn. This article looks at some of 
F 

m I 1 * w 

terifetiye producers have generate^ 



By pterfnittiilg viewer "rhgut, interactivity fundamentally chall< 
notions of aqthorship and artistic control. The central issue to t 
an mteractive environment is how the producer- viewer relations!?! 
Wrjlt balanc^ between producer control and viewer autonomy prov; 
e for both? There's no single answer. Some producers i 
concerned with sustaining the emotional tension associated with the lii 
e. Others want to create an open space, a kind of inter; 
ox equipped with water, pails, and trowels with which users can 

A first measurfe of producer priorities can be gauged by whether thei: 
presented on computer screens (like CD-ROM, CD-I, or the new 3D 1 
*|brm) or in immetsive virtual reality-type environments. While com; 
scree U'based technology is far more accessible, a number of produce 
moved away from these platforms precisely because of what they pe 
limits of their potential interactivity. As multimedia artist Perry Hoi 
it, "It's more interesting to use computers to control objects in spa' 
control a computer screen." 

With either CD or virtual reality applications, producers also co: 
interface problem: How do you communicate to the user just how 
expected to interact? Do you hand them a volume of instructions? 

Interface^ n^ve to be easy to understand. Put in interactive lingo, 
face needs to be "intuitive." Many interfaces appear intuitive when 
their designers, but prove considerably less so when put to the test b 
user^On the other hand, an interface can't be so transparent that us 
su/e if they are affecting the system. New users need reassurance. Th 

e that the system is responding to them. 

In addition, interactive work needs to motivate interaction. A user' 
interact can't be taken for granted. After all, schools, TV, and a do* 
social institutions inculcate passivity. We can't expect everyone to bi 
George. The interaction has to provide a user with an activity that he orshe 
feels is meaningful. Recombining musical phrases, as the recent Todd Rundgren 
CD-ROM allows users to do, turns out not to be particularly interesting or fun. 
Plus, any interactive design ought to allow users to interact before they get 
impatient or bored. 

Commercially, the dominant interactive paradigm is choice-mode, branching 
.Structures with a limited menu of predetermined options, much like a bank's 
ATM, which asks if would you like to a) deposit, b) withdraw, or c) see account 
balance. Other familiar models include the choose-your-own-adventure CD- 
ROM book, in which the reader determines whether the character goes to 
school today or stays home sick, and the data-retrieval model, in which users 
can choose whether they want to see information on the rise of the Third 
Reich, pogroms in Poland, or the life of Anne Frank. 



15 JANUARY/FERUARY 1994 



tions 




Many producers coming from the independent production com- 
munity are dismissive of what they consider simple-minded 
paradigms. As interactive filmmaker Grahame Weinbren says, 
"Making choices is about shopping. The current model for inter- 
activity is the fast-food restaurant rather than a motorcycle ride." 
For these producers, response, not choice, is the operative word. 
Responsive systems are grayer. Viewer effect on the system is sub- 
tler and less about making black-and-white choices at specified 
points in the underlying structure. 

Not all independent producers eschew the choice-mode 
branching model, however. San Francisco Bay Area video artist 
John Sanborn, who has worked with new video technologies for 
over a decade, is working on several choice-mode projects. One is 
for interactive film using Interfilm, a movie theater-based tech- 
nology, which debuted last winter in eight cities around the coun- 




From Media Band by John Sanborn, Courtesy mediamaket 



try. This interactive film design uses a branching narrative in 
which audience members use the joystick to vote on key story 
decisions. Sony has since decided to equip several of its Translux 
theaters with the necessary interactive joystick and to produce 
movies for the medium. Sanborn acknowledges that the 20- 
minute test film, I'm Your Man, "sucked" but that the audience 
"went berserk. Interfilm is not a film. It's not a game. It becomes a 
party," he says. 

Sanborn is also working on a branching CD-ROM. Media Band, 
which will include six interactive music videos and will be pub- 
lished by Apple early this year. It is among the first music CD- 
ROM titles. Other interactive music CDs have been released 
recently by Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, and Todd Rundgren, 
although none of these projects are narrative. Media Band 
revolves around a fictitious band developed by Sanborn and his 
partner, Michael Kaplan. Using a choice-mode structure, users 
control the parameters of the music and the video. 

For instance, in the song "Undo Me," the lead singer introduces 



four guys with whom she can start a relationship. The user choos- 
es one of the lucky fellows. Depending on who is chosen, each 
date has a different mix, lyrics, and images. The two go on a date 
and at the end of the evening, the user reaches another branch 
node. He or she is asked to decide whether the singer should 
react "passively" (the on-screen icon is an ice cube) or "aggres- 
sively" (the icon is flames). "Undo Me," Sanborn admits, is a little 
like a 21st century Mystery Date. With all its branches, the song 
runs about 26 minutes. 

In addition to songs, Media Band also includes an archive in 
which the user can delve into the history of the group, a technical 
area filled with working sound- and image-editing equipment, a 
bunch of computer nerds running through the club where the CD 
is set, and a "smart bar" with scientists and writers. Touch one 
and you get a pithy piece of wisdom. 

Sanborn acknowledges 
the limits of this model. "It 
may not save the world," he 
says with a vague apology, 
"but it's the beginning of 
what's key about all of this. 
This is only the first step." 
Compared to interactive 
data retrieval, movies-on- 
demand, and shopping pro- 
jects, Sanborn argues, 
Media Band is a step for- 
ward. He is also sensitive to 
the fact that audiences are 
still unfamiliar with 
this medium. Inter- 
active may turn out to be 
breathtaking and radi- 
cally new, but the public 
needs simple, attrac- 
tive, familiar-feeling intro- 
ductions to it. 

San Francisco documen- 
tary filmmaker Peter Adair, 
confronted with a similar 
teenaged and 
twenty-something target 
audience, arrived at a differ- 
ent structural solution. 
Adair's Smart Money, a 45- 
minute educational CD- 

• ^fc 4fe 4fe ^fe ROM, was financed by a 
bank and cost nearly $1 mil- 
lion, a figure regarded as quite reasonable within the nascent 
interactive industry. The project was intended to teach 
teenagers about spending and credit. The interactive format was 
chosen, among other reasons, because students retain 
more in a context in which they are able to direct their own 
learning. 

Adair's solution was to take a film narrative and alternate it 
with a learning game. In Smart Money, a group of characters grad- 
uate from school, get good jobs, and start to buy luxurious con- 
sumer products. When the game begins, players can also choose 
to go on hog-wild spending sprees (to be paid with cash or credit) 
or prudently watch their pocketbooks and pay their bills. Every 
six minutes they have to pay up. The narrative, says Adair, is 
intended to drive home an emotional lesson in the way that only 
film can do. The game, in turn, involves the players on a more 
conscious level. By combining the two forms, Adair wanted to 
prove that it was possible to create a strong emotional response 
within a computer game. 



16 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 16 




Both Sanborn and Adair agree that story is very important 
in sustaining the interactive experience, but that character is 
equally important. "The reason you decide to continue a con- 
versation with somebody is because of character," Sanborn 
says. Adair agrees, noting that "The game business is realizing 
this more and more. To increase the market, they're going from 
twitch games and shoot-'em- ups to games that involve players 
with character." 

Unlike many commercial projects that are measured by how 
many plays or play-hours they provide (the industry standard is 
40 hours per game), Smart Money was designed to be played 
just once. What surprises Adair is that students want to play 
the CD over and over again. "The kids use it as a fantasy," he 
"They try out lives like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous." 

)ther recent CD-ROM for kids, this one less 
explicitly pedagogical than Smart Money, is Peggy 
Weil's Silly Noisy House, which was designed for 
three-to-five-year olds. Published by Voyager, one 
of the country's leading publishers of interactive 
material [see article on page 22], Silly Noisy House is one of the 
company's few original interactive titles. Weil, who lives in Los 
Angeles, recounts that Voyager partner Bob Stein invited her 
to design an original project provided she could meet three 
constraints: 1) the project had to be for kids, 2) it had to be 
affordable, and 3) it had to use as much sound as picture, since 
audio is cheap. Weil was interested, but she didn't want to pro- 
duce a game. She uses two analogies to describe Silly Noise 
House: a combination doll house and music box, and a pop-up 
book with animation. 

The opening visual presentation is a cutaway of a doll 
house. Click on a room, and enter it. Click on objects, and you 
hear nursery rhymes, noises, songs, and other public-domain 
material. For instance, if one clicks on the teapot in the 
kitchen, the CD plays the song "I'm a Little Tea Pot." Click on 
the spider in the attic, and hear "Eensy Beensy Spider." Many 
of the responses are part of a loop so that the sound is not the 
same each time one clicks on a particular object. 

Like many interactive designers, Weil is quick to distinguish 
what she is doing from games. Yet she acknowledges that some 
games have helped forge solutions in interface design and have 
helped figure out a way to fire users' sense of play. The design- 
ers' deep-rooted contempt for games is directed at their goal- 
oriented, win-or-lose structure and their shoot-'em-up content. 
In fact, interactive designer Brenda Laurel says that in con- 
ducting research on girls and video games, she has found that 
the win-lose model prevalent in current games is particularly 
alienating to young girls. 

So it's not surprising that Weil did not incorporate many 
games into Silly Noisy House. Instead, the CD encourages 
exploration. "Learning is not a game," Weil says. "It's a quest." 
As a result, she built in trapdoors that would reveal themselves 
with luck and play, and she tried to motivate kids' own creativ- 
ity. "You need to give them something to manipulate," she 
adds. For that reason, Weil left "holes" or places for the imagi- 
nation to fill. Her characters aren't given names so that kids 
can name them. Ordinarily in the games business, she explains, 
companies insist that characters have names because it 
enhances their merchandising potential. 

Much of the current discussion surrounding interactive mul- 
timedia assumes that complex is better. But perhaps it's not. 
What's particularly striking about Weil's model is that, 
although it's very simple, it's also very fun to use, more so than 
many more complicated CDs. "People are trying to do too 
much," she says. "It may not be necessary to use every available 
feature all the time." Multimedia publisher Jaime Levy got her 




own lesson in simplicity after testing an interactive novel called 
Ambulance. She discovered that her cyber-savvy, X-Generation 
users were confused by multiple levels of interactivity, and she 
ended up eliminating all but one tier. 

The Madness of Roland, produced by Greg Roach and published 
by Hyperbole Studios, forges bravely into more complicated struc- 
tural ter- 
rain. Origi- 
nally writ- 
ten as a lin- 
ear tale, the 
CD tells the 
story of the 
8th century 
siege f I 
Pa i fro± 
five differ- 
ent points 
of view. The 
title, which 
retails for 
$59.95, was From The Madness of Roland, by Greg Roach 

Dublicized Courtesy mediamaker 

as "the world's first interactive multimedia novel" and includes text, 
animation, photography, QuickTime videos, and a complete sound 
track. Roland won the Best Interactive awards at the 1993 Quick- 
Time Film Festival and the 1992 QuickTime Movie Festival. 

Unlike Sanborn's branching model, the user's actions don't 
determine how the story progresses, but instead the user chooses 
among multiple perspectives of the same scene in a model reminis- 
cent of Akira Kurosawa's film Rashomon. Two layers of additional 
commentary are accessed by clicking on sun and moon icons. The 
sun level includes historical or literary texts from sources as dis- 
parate as Jung and The Boy Scout Handbook. The moon level 
includes more evocative, associative images, and QuickTime™ 
movies that are less obviously tied to the story material. Roach 
included the two separate layers so that users less comfortable with 
ambiguous artistic expression wouldn't be forced to deal with it. 

"Conceptually, Roland was born of the first blush of what this 
medium can be and was shaped by the technology of the time," says 
Roach, who teaches at San Francisco State's burgeoning multime- 
dia program and at AFI's Advanced Technology Program [see arti- 
cle on p. 20]. He hopes that what is unique about Roland is its struc- 
tural approach to juxtaposing the syntax of film and prose. Like 
Roland, Roach's more recent project, No One Dreams Here, tells a 
single story but allows users to access different points of view. 
Whereas Roland, as an interactive novel, is very reliant on text, No 
One Dreams Here is an interactive film and utilizes images to tell its 
science fiction story, which is designed to engage the user by having 
characters play directly to the camera. 

With both interactive projects, Roach had to establish parame- 
ters of response and power for the user. "We offer the player as 
much freedom as we can in terms of exploration," he says. "At the 
same time, as filmmakers, we take the control that we need to shape 
the experience into a cohesive dramatic whole." 

Similar concerns and intentions inform filmmaker Grahame Wein- 
bren's work. Weinbren, a British-born New Yorker, has produced 
two installations for interactive laser disc players, a medium now 
regarded by the latest-is-the-greatest interactive community as 
nearly obsolete. Weinbren explains that CD-ROM technology still 
isn't fast enough to provide the amount of information he needs at 
30 frames per second. 

For Weinbren, the principal problem of interactivity is how to 
allow for, and even encourage, interruption of the narrative without 
disrupting the continuity of the cinematic experience. He 



17 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 17 



Grahams Wei nbren's interactive i nstall atio n Sonata at the Sail Francisco Internationa I Film 
Festival. 

Courtesy filmmaker 




4fe 



compares the logic of interactive to a 
conversation. "When you're talking to 
somebody," Weinbren says, "you 
always expect a reply, but the reply 
itself is not very predictable." He 
motivates interaction with some sim- 
ple psychology. "If people don't interact, it's not 
very interesting. All they get is talking heads." 

In his first interactive piece, The Erlking, pro- 
duced in the late 1980s, a user touched the screen 
to move from the central narrative (a performance 
of the Schubert song "The Erlking") to additional 
visual and audio material. His more recent work, 
Sonata, is based on the Tolstoy short story "The 
Kreuzer Sonata," which tells of a man's jealousy 
over his musician wife and was written at the nadir 
in Tolstoy's own marriage. Rather than touch a 
screen, the user interacts with it by sitting at a 




Nicole Farmer as Sonya in 
Grahame Weinbren's 
interactive installation 

Sonata, based on Tolstoy's 
'The Kreutzer Sonata." 

Courtesy filmmaker 



monitor and waving his or her hand 
ike a conductor. It's a little magical. 
The user can cut, dissolve, wipe, layer 
one image over another, and reverse 
the series of images. Weinbren had 
been unhappy with the effect of the 
touch screen in The Erlking because it ruptured the 
cinematic spell. "Every time you touched the 
screen," he says, "you were reminded that you 
were dealing with a flat image." By moving the 
web of infrared beams several inches away from 
the face of the monitor, he could use the same 
interface without the user having to touch cold 
glass. 

Weinbren uses "The Kreuzer Sonata," which 
Tolstoy tells as a monologue, as an anchoring osti- 
nato. He also includes a second narrative, the bib- 
lical story of Judith and Holofernes. Weinbren 



18 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 18 




chose both stories because they provided rich potential to explore 
multiple points of view. The story of the widow Judith beheading 
the pagan general and captor Holofernes has been represented in 
hundreds of paintings. Tolstoy, his wife, and children all kept 
diaries. To Weinbren, this is a "a massive cache of interactive 
source material," which can be accessed by users at points during 
the piece. Users weave an oneiric narrative that is part Tolstoy, 
part Judith and Holofernes, and part other materials that Wein- 
bren has embedded 
in the piece. 

From the user's 
perspective, inter- 
acting with Sonata 
can feel a little ran- 
dom, at least at the 
beginning, as one 
figures out how the 
screen has been 
divided and which 
parts of it trigger 
which responses. 
Weinbren con- 
tends that people 
usually catch on pretty quickly. 

Philosophically, Weinbren remains closer to film than most 
interactive producers. "I'm trying to stay with what are the best 
options of the movies and narrative film," he says. Some interac- 
tive theorists argue that the very promise of interactivity is in the 
denial of beginnings, middles, and ends, but Weinbren disagrees. 
The Erlking had no ending, so people didn't know when it was 
over. "They left when they were bored with the piece," Weinbren 
says. "That's a bad principle of filmmaking. You have to excite an 
audience in the last five minutes." 

A problem unique to interactive film is what Weinbren calls 
"the third dimension." How often is interactivity made available 
to users? Weinbren chose to increase the frequency of interaction 
and make it "a little more wild" as users get deeper into the piece. 
In a way, Weinbren admits, it's a pointless exercise, since he never 
knows whether people will take advantage of the opportunity to 
interact. However, Weinbren wants to be able to control when a 
user can't interact. At the climax of the story, when Tolstoy's 
character murders his wife, Weinbren cuts off all interaction in 
order to preclude a user shifting away from the intensity of the 
scene. 

Like Roach, one of the things that led Weinbren to interactivi- 
ty is its similarity to the workings of the mind and the subcon- 
scious. "If you're crossing the street, you're thinking about the car 
coming toward you, and you're also thinking about your latest 
quarrel and your dinner," he says. "And usually they all have 
something to do with each other." Weinbren often exploits inter- 
active's similarity with thought-hopping. In Sonata, for instance, 
when a scene is played in reverse, events are altered slightly since 
in real life, memory doesn't always square with history. Weinbren 
also builds dream-like images that are condensations of many 
thoughts and feelings. 

i ' • hile producers like Roach and Weinbren pursue an 

j , elusive balance between maker control and user 

! f autonomy, other artists prefer to find a solution by 

'■■ | I immersing users in a narrative space. The result is 

^^^^v -W less like film and more like environmental theater. 

In an article to be published in an upcoming issue 

of the magaine Leonardo, multimedia artist Toni Dove argues, 

"The lines [in interactive narratives] are... more complex, but you 

are still being guided along a linear path, which has been carefully 

preconceived or mapped." Dove says she wants to create a system 



to interact with rather than a map that predefines a user's pas- 
sage. 

Dove and her partner, Michael Mackenzie, had a chance to 
design a model of Archaeology of a Mother Tongue as part of Banf- 
f's Art and Virtual Environments program. The piece involved a 
theater-sized rear-projection screen with interactive computer 
graphics, video, and 3D scrims for animated slide projections. 
Unlike the cliche virtual reality (VR) experience, it did not 
involve a head-mounted display (HMD). Dove and Mackenzie 
decided that the VR headset was not the best way to present the 
40-minute work, because the resolution of the HMD eye displays 
is low compared to the graphics they used, and they were also 
concerned that the piece was too long to be seen comfortably in 
a headset. As a consequence, Archaeology is much more like 
being on stage in a multimedia theater than flying through psy- 
chedelic space in films like Lawnmower Man. 

To view Archaeology, a user wears a power glove with which 
she or he can stop and start the visuals and control the move- 
ment through the projected 3-D environment. As the user moves 
through three successive environments, a narrative unfolds. 
Touching certain objects within the projections with the power 
glove triggers sound and text. Users move through the environ- 
ments in linear sequence, and each time the information is essen- 
tially the same. 

The immersion experience is like "a movie sprung free from 
the screen which occupies a space along with the viewer or audi- 
ence." But Dove's movie analogy can be taken only so far. In 
working on her project, she found that a virtual environment 
requires a whole different language than film. "In film," she says, 
"time passes with a cut. VR is continuous space." For example, in 
a virtual world, if somebody stops to look around, sound has to 
continue to be generated in real time. Ultimately, to provide 
continuous sound for Archaeology of a Mother Tongue, she built a 
machine that created a continual soundtrack based on random 
parameters. 

! erry Hoberman's Bar Code Hotel, another work 
I I produced at Banff, does not immerse users in a 
"■""^ virtual world. Instead, Hoberman juxtaposes 

objects in a real space with representations of 
those objects in a 3-D projection of space. Par- 
ticipants within the real space control the posi- 
tioning of the virtual objects in the projection. 

Hoberman believes there has to be a one-to-one, predictable 
relationship between a user's action and a system's response. "It 
should work like a light switch," he says. As a result, he argues, it 
makes more sense for a user to "initiate" an event than to "inter- 
rupt" it. "If you're telling a story and don't let people finish their 
sentences, it gets incoherent." 

On the other hand, Hoberman says that interactivity necessi- 
tates relinquishing control over content. "With interactivity, it's 
better to have nothing to say, than to try to say something," he 
states, indulging in a bit of artistic heresy. "It's better for meaning 
to come out of the interaction. The ideal is to come up with a 
program structure that feels totally responsive, but nobody has, 
at least not yet. That's why it's more important to focus on the 
interactivity itself.* 4tik Jfc 4fc 

Brenda Laurel would agree. Like Dove and Hoberman, she 
also rejects choice modes and interactive stories. "After 15 years," 
she says, "I don't believe in any of that anymore." Laurel, a Palo 
Alto-based artist-anarchist with a background in theater and 
game design, is the Emma Goldman of VR. She's not concerned 
with controlling the viewer's experience. The best prototype for 
interactivity, she says, is a good drawing software program with 
an interesting mixture of freedom and constraint. "Good ones 
have continued on p. 53 



19 INDEPENDENT 1994 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 19 



by Barbara Bliss Osborn 




TRAINING GROUNDS 

The American Film Institute and the Banff Centre for the Arts 

THE ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM AT THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE 



"What we teach isn't taught anywhere else," says Nick DeMarti- 
no, director of the American Film Institute's Advanced Technol- 
ogy Program (ATP). Established with a $l-million contribution of 
Apple computer equipment in 1990, the program began offering 
workshops and events in 1991 to help people learn about new 
media. There are courses on now T , , 7 , v , 

run-of-the-mill technologies, like in the old West, missionary outposts were 

Ss^i^ iet "f t0 *P Kad the w ° rd °f G ° d - Toda y 

students can receive hands-on new outposts are being established. Instead 

training in more exotic domains, 

like PhotoCD technology and OJ thumping Bibles, 



interactive multimedia, or stretch 
their writing skills with a cours< 
titled "Interactive Fiction: Trans 



their writing skills with a course ^nese preacnerS CLICK 

on mice. 



The new 

formation ot Classic Structure. 

This fall there's even an offering centers, like the 

called "Previsualization for the A . ,-,., 

Overwhelmed." The workshops American tllm 

and seminars, which generally t f - f f > AA<un-nrpA 

cost between $70 and $250, are Lnstltute s Advanced 

held on the afi Hollywood Cam- Technology Program 

pus in the Mac Quadra lab, digi- , 777-1 1 

tai lecture/demo room, or muki- in Los Angeles and the Virtual Environ- 

me spedai" events are also part of ™nts project at the Banff Centre for the 
the atp's schedule. Recent pro- j^ rts in Canada, are designed to tempt the 

grams included a weekend sym- ° r 

posium on technology careers for curious and propagate the new faith. 

women, a soiree with production 

company Colossal Pictures, and a visit from the Industrial Light for features, who also teaches Mac animation and is helping ATP 

& Magic designers who worked on Jurassic Park. The Advanced integrate computer skills into the curriculum for AFI film and TV 

Technology Program also runs weekly "salons" — shmooze and degree students. 

information-sharing sessions — which focus on high-tech hard- The difficulty in teaching interactive technology is, Lasky says, 



ware and software. These get-togethers are a kind of Hollywood 
paradox: In the midst of industries mired in intense competition 
and secrecy, Martino contends that everybody at these salons is 
"very generous" with information. "We're all telling the same 
joke, and nobody knows the punch line," he says, referring to new 

technologies as yet undefined 
platforms and paradigms. In the 
way of entertainment industry 
truths, that statement is partly 
correct. You're certainly more 
likely to find candor in this group 
than at most industry gatherings. 
Salon and special-event admis- 
sion usually costs about $25. 

ATP instructors and presen- 
ters come directly from Holly- 
wood and Silicon Valley. Ray 
Feeney, for instance, teaches 
high-end output for feature films 
and documentaries. He also runs 
an LA. computer effects house 
and has won two Scientific and 
Technical Achievement Acade- 
my Awards. David Riordan, who 
teaches interactive multimedia, 
also develops CD entertainment 
titles for POV Digital Entertain- 
ment, until recently a division of 
Phillips Interactive. Alan Lasky 
is a computer graphics designer 




20 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 20 



"We don't have a defining structure of interactive media. 
We haven't seen Birth of a Nation or Intolerance, so there's no 
base to teach from. We're teaching an ideal that doesn't exist 
yet. You keep waiting for one of your students to be the inter- 
active prodigy." He believes that "our D.W. Griffith" will come 
from video games, although he admits that a background in 
narrative filmmaking is still important. 

David Riordan taught his six-week Advanced Interactive 
Design workshop for the first time last fall. Twenty people, an 




even mix of men and women in their thirties and forties, 
plunked down $500 to learn about interactive design. The 
course is intensive. Over the first four weeks, Riordan explores 
what an interactive designer does, how interactive relates to 
linear narrative, and the complications of interactive produc- 
tion and direction. In the final two weeks students develop 
their own designs. 

Independent producer Nancy Nickerson is reading the Hol- 
lywood Reporters "Turning Interactive" issue while waiting for 
Riordan's class to start. Since she isn't involved in any film pro- 
duction at the moment, Nickerson has thrown herself into this. 
"I closed my eyes and pulled out my credit card," she says. So 
far, she's taken five classes in the program. Her goal is to figure 
out how interactive technologies are going to interface with 
film. It might allow her to segue out of her career, she says. 
Luann Barry, a producer of commercials, sits next to her. "I'm 
here to see how much desktop production is a threat to what I 
do," she explains. She's also hoping to apply her live-action 
experience to interactive games, but she's got some reserva- 
tions. "If it's all computer images, I'm not interested," she says. 
"I'm interested in human beings." 

Riordan begins the first class by putting his cards on the 
table. "There are no truths in interactive multimedia," he says. 
"It's one of the exciting things about this business: There are 
no rules. There's no gospel here." And with that preface, he 
launches into his own preferences and the knowledge he accu- 
mulated by trial and error while designing his own CD titles. 
Introducing his central premise, Riordan says, "Games — not 
video games, but games and the gaming instinct — are absolute- 
ly central to interactivity." 

The Advanced Technology Program clearly attracts main- 
stream Hollywood types fearful for their livelihood. They know 
that the entertainment world is not just about film stock any- 
more — a point that's underscored by the hefty contributions 
from industry manufacturers like Kodak, Sony, Adobe, and 
SuperMac. The Advanced Technology Program also receives 
funding from the Markle and MacArthur Foundations and the 
National Endowment for the Arts. MacArthur recently funded 



a program at ATP co-sponsored by the National Association of 
Media Arts and Culture (NAMAC) called "The Digital Indepen- 
dents," a week-long, hands-on workshop for media artists led by San 
Francisco multimedia artist Dana Atchley. 

Nick DeMartino, who produced alternative videos during the 
1970s, these days refers to himself as "the digital Sol Hurok," refer- 
ring to the great impresario who brought legendary concert artists to 
public attention. DeMartino believes there's a place in the new 
technological landscape for independent producers. Technologies 
like personal computers and QuickTime™ software have reduced 
the cost of production yet again, making it even more possible for 
the field to be open to any and everyone, he argues. 

But following the same line of cheap-equipment-means-access 
thinking, documentary producer and interactive designer Peter 
Adair questions the need for a school. Adair suggests that without 
an established syntax, there isn't much anybody can teach. "The 
great thing is [the equipment's] cheap and it doesn't really matter 
what program you use," he says. "You can teach yourself a lot." 
Talking like a veteran independent, Adair suggests that interested 
producers start with "a $1,000 computer and a stolen piece of soft- 



THE ART AND VIRTUAL 
ENVIRONMENTS PROGRAM AT 
BANFF CENTRE FOR THE ARTS 

If AFI's Advanced Technology Program is a school, the Art and 
Virtual Environments program at Banff is a hybrid think tank/artist 
colony. Of all the advanced technology labs, this one, located in 
Alberta, Canada, has the reputation of being the most artist-friend- 
ly. Philosophically, project director Doug MacLeod believes that 
artists' input into technological development is critical. Artists can 
develop new paradigms for research and new ways of expressing 
content, and can conceive of entirely new uses for the technologies. 
The program is also meant to advance a particular socio-cultural 
vision of future communication. "Everybody has to get their hands 
dirty," MacLeod says. "Otherwise we'll just have another TV net- 
work." 

The Virtual Environments program is a deliberate attempt to 
counterbalance what is perceived as short-term corporate develop- 
ment strategies for new technologies. Suggesting that artists bring 
content to their work — while industry, by implication, does not — 
MacLeod predicts, "Without content, all these technologies will 
fail." The Centre's reservations about industry development, how- 
ever, have not precluded them from forging joint agreements with 
soft- and hardware manufacturers like Silicon Graphics, Apple, and 
Autodesk. Additional funding for the program comes from the 
Canadian government. 

The Banff Centre began its Art and Virtual Environments pro- 
ject two years ago as part of the Media Art Department's Computer 
Applications and Research program. Its first phase, developed under 
the title Bioapparatus, included a series of residencies and a sympo- 
sium. The Art and Virtual Environments project followed and, like 
Bioapparatus, has sponsored artist residencies (including projects by 
Perry Hoberman, Brenda Laurel and Rachel Strickland; Stewart 
Dixon and Michael Scroggins; and Michael Mackenzie and Toni 
Dove) and a seminar to be held in May 1994 immediately following 
the Fourth International Conference on CyberSpace. 

Despite the premium it places on artistic exploration, the pro- 
gram requires material results. "Things actually get produced," says 
MacLeod. "At a certain point, pieces have to be functional." 
continued on page 58 



21 INDEPENDENT 1994 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 21 




A TALK WITH BOB STEIN, FOUNDER AND PARTNER, THE VOYAGER COMPANY 



by Michele Shapiro 



LOUTA 



The field of multimedia software is relatively young. But the Voy- 
ager Company, a New York-based software house known for its 
innovative laserdisc and CD-ROM packages, has, in just a few 
years, proven that the interactive market is one of infinite possi- 
bilities. 

Voyager began working with optical media in 1984 as a 
laserdisc publisher. Its Criterion Collection of home-video 
laserdiscs now in- 
cludes more than 150 
titles, ranging from 
The Graduate and The 
Player to LJgetsu. All 
Criterion Collection 
films are presented in 
their original aspect 
ratio, which allows for 
a greater sense of 
depth and makes visi- 
ble details that are 
routinely lost when 
images are cropped for 
television. 

In 1989, Voyager 
developed a Hyper- 
Card application to 
enhance listeners' 
understanding of Bee- 
thoven's Ninth Sym- 
phony, which resulted 
in what many consid- 
er the industry's first 
consumer CD-ROM. 
Since then, Voyager's 
music -appreciation 
CD-ROMS have become staples of many multimedia collections. 
The company's top sellers include Mozart's The Magic Flute and 
Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, both of which combine CD-quality 




FIND A 



CAST 



stereo reproduction with running commentary by leading musi- 
cologists. Other Voyager CD-ROM offerings include Poetry in 
Motion, which traces the work of two-dozen contemporary poets; 
Criterion Goes to the Movies, which offers QuickTime movie clips, 
photos, and background information on the laserdiscs published 
by Voyager; and Rodney's Wonder Window, a hands-on interactive 
art exhibition by artist Rodney Alan Greenblatt. 

Most recently, 
Voyager has released 
a feature-length mo- 
vie, the Beatles' A 
Hard Day's Night, on 
CD-ROM. The inter- 
active disc allows 
users to stop the film, 
jump to other scenes, 
and search for specif- 
ic songs. Like Voy- 
ager's other CD- 
ROM packages, A 
Hard Day's Night is 
reasonably priced at 
$39.95. 

After the compa- 
ny's recent move east 
from Santa Monica 
to SoHo, The Inde- 
pendent was able to 
catch up with Bob 
Stein, one of the 
company's founders 
and partners, for a 
rare interview. 

Dressed casually in 
T-shirt and jeans (normal office attire for the 50 or so employees 
that inhabit the company's open loft space on lower Broadway), 
Stein, in the interview that follows, discusses the Voyager Com- 




LoUta is presented in its original 
split-format aspect ratio for the first 
time, The film was shot with two 
alternating aspect ratios, 1 .66:1 and 
1 .33:1 . A new digital film-to- tape 
transfer was created using a 35mm 
duplicate negative and 35mm 3-track 
magnetic master. This transfer was 
supervises Jy Stanley Kubrick . 



CREDITS FEATURES 



ESSAY 



CHAPTERS) < ► 



22 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 22 



pany's continuous evolution, opportunities for mediamakers in 
software publishing, and the future of the industry. 

Independent: How did you become interested in new technolo- 
gies? 

Stein: About 15 years ago — no, 13 years ago — I came to a junc- 
ture in my life when I had the opportunity to figure out what I 
wanted to do. I spent my days in the library reading about the 
stuff and my nights waiting on tables. I couldn't decide if I wanted 
to publish or work on the medium. 

Independent: Did Voyager start out as a laserdisc publisher? 

Stein: Yeah. The only technology that was available to con- 
sumers that was interactive at that time was laserdiscs. But we 
saw a technology that would allow us to create an experience 
using what's aesthetically pleasing on the laserdisc. The vision we 
started with was the kind of stuff we're doing now on computer. 
But you couldn't do it back then. 

It wasn't very original on my part. It was all stuff that was being 
done at [the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.] Everything 
we've done is derivative of work done at MIT. Nothing we have 
done is conceptually original. 

Independent: When did your company start up? 

Stein: 1984. We started the company in California, but we've 
been bicoastal since 1985. Now we're based here. 




Rodney's Wonder Window, a hands-on interactive art exhibition by Rodney Alan Greenblatt. 

Courtesy Voyager 

Independent: That's very recent, is it not? 

Stein: We moved our headquarters here in July [1993]. 

Independent: What was the reason? 

Stein: There's a much richer cultural community here in New 
York. People in Southern California make movies, and we don't 
make movies. It didn't enrich us being there. Artists, writers, and 
graphic designers here are much more rich in ideas. Also, in 
Northern California the focus is on hardware. 

Independent: There are four partners? 

Stein: Yes. Myself, my ex-wife Helene Stein, John Turrell, and 
Bill Becker, who are also the owners of Janus Films. 

Independent: What was your aim at the time you started the 
company? How did you envision your laserdiscs would be differ- 
ent from others on the market? 

Stein: At the time, the existing market for laserdiscs was movie 



buffs, but there was also a whole other group of people attracted 
by what technology could do. We sought to put out something on 
the market that would attract both the movie buffs and the peo- 
ple interested in the technology itself, which we did by putting 
out editions of Citizen Kane and King Kong. We paid a lot of 
attention to making the best transfer possible, and that appealed 
to movie buffs. For everyone else, we started using technology. 
We were the first to put things out in the CAB format, which 
allows you to get still frames and slow motion — and allows people 
to look at the film more carefully. In the case of King Kong, we 
added a second soundtrack, where a wonderful anecdotal history 
of the film was provided. We put in scripts, outtakes, storyboards, 
production photos, and advertising: everything we thought the 
average person interested in film would want to see. We were 
very lucky. We did attract both markets. 

Independent: Is your market mostly consumers? 

Stein: It's always been a consumer market. 

Independent: How closely have you worked with independent 
makers? I've read that filmmakers the likes of John Singleton are 
now approaching you and wanting Voyager to publish their works 
on laserdisc. 

Stein: I don't really consider John Singleton an independent. It's 
sort of a stretch. 

Independent: Well I know you've published some video works by 
Bill Viola. 

Stein: We publish artists' work on video. We are Bill's publisher. 
We also publish a two-volume collection from Rick Prelinger's 
archives of shorts, commercials, and industrial movies called 
Ephemeral Films. We want to make it possible for people to see 
new work. 

Independent: Is a certain percentage of the laserdiscs and CD- 
ROM discs you publish independent work? 

Stein: We do as much as we can afford, let's put it that way. It 
never pays for itself. 

Independent: Do film- and videomakers approach you, or do you 
approach them? 

Stein: It's mostly us approaching them. The people who approach 
us now are big-name directors who want their films in the Criteri- 
on Collection. 

Independent: Once you connect, there's so much that goes into 
the [making of the] laserdisc. Is there a lot of extra work on the 
maker's part? 

Stein: You're confusing apples and oranges. When we do the 
films, we add a lot of additional information; when we do stuff 
like Bill Viola or Gary Hill, we put the work on video disc and 
don't add anything to it. 

Independent: When did Voyager begin getting involved in CD- 
ROM technology? 
Stein: As soon as Apple put one out. About five years ago. 

Independent: But it was just this year you put out the Beatles' 
Hard Day's Night on CD-ROM? 

Stein: Yes. 

Independent: When I previewed the film, someone [from Voy- 
ager] told me it was selling really well. 

Stein: Eh. 

Independent: No? 

Stein: It's all right. It's certainly not our bestseller. We've sold 

about 10,000 or 12,000 copies. 

Independent: What do you think the problem is? Do not enough 
people have access to the CD-ROM technology? 



23 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 23 




Stein: No, I think the Beatles aren't exactly associated with new 
technology. The Beatles are not new. 

Independent: So why did you choose that particular film? 

Stein: We happened to own the rights to it, which made it easier 
to do. It has music. It's in black-and-white. Of all the things we 
own the rights to, it was the best one. 

Independent: How are you promoting it? 

Stein: We're not doing any major promotion. 

Independent: So marketing is not at the top of your list of priori- 
ties? 

Stein: My main job is to make things that are interesting. That's 
my personal focus. It's not that I'm not interested in marketing, I 
just don't have good answers to your questions. 

Independent: In terms of low-budget mediamakers — not the 
John Singletons, but those who are making their first projects — 
how do they fit into your operation? Is there a place for them? 

Stein: I think that young people coming out of film schools now 
may end up being the future artists in this medium, because they 
have the freedom to get involved in something new. It's a little 
late for John Singleton, because he's gone on to make feature 
films with multimillion-dollar budgets. People attracted to this 
field probably won't have access to such budgets. People are just 
starting to consider careers in interactive media as opposed to 
careers in filmmaking. I think it's a very rich environment for 
documentaries and feature films — but of a new type. 

Independent: CD-ROM seems to lend itself so well to documen- 
taries because of all the information that it supplies. Is that an 
area you're focusing on? 

Stein: We're waiting for the practitioners. We're waiting for the 
artists to come forward. We're waiting for people out of film 
school to come and say, We want to make a documentary on this 
or that subject. 

Independent: There are other technologies out there besides 



CD-ROM. Why do you focus on this particular technology? 

Stein: CD-ROM allows the most freedom to assemble materials 
in a way that is personal. If you want to broadcast a large movie 
to people, it's not very useful. But it you want to provide motion 
pictures, still pictures, text, audio, and publishing, it's very effec- 
tive. 

Independent: How does CD-ROM compare to the other tech- 
nologies, like CD-I? 

Stein: Well, they don't exist. The major difference is the other 
technologies, like CD-I and CDTV, are used with a television set. 
It's very easy to make titles on CD-ROM and very complicated 
on CD-I. That's why a lot of people say CD-I is dead. 

Independent: One article stated that your "commitment to cul- 
tural excellence might eventually lead to the company's down- 
fall." How do you respond to this? 

Stein: I have no objections to doing other things; it's just that no 
one has shown me anything interesting enough to publish. We 
basically do stuff we like. 

Independent: Can you take me through the process of what hap- 
pens once you approve the idea of a film- or videomaker? 

Stein: Ideas are cheap. I've got a thousand of them. The question 
is, Does the person have enough passion, drive, and smarts to 
actually finish something? If the person has no skills whatsoever 
in electronic media, they'd better have a tremendous amount of 
passion to make up for the lack of skills. Nobody comes to us with 
everything. 

Independent: Regarding the "New Vision, New Voices" contest 
that Voyager is sponsoring to encourage creativity on the com- 
puter, your entry materials say "There's a strong tendency to be 
safe in form and content" when it comes to software publishing. 
Do you feel that about Voyager's works? 

Stein: It's the edgy stuff I'm interested in seeing [as a result of the 
contest] . 



24 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 24 



Independent: Why not aim to publish more edgy stuff? 

Stein: You can't make money. If Bill Viola came to me tomorrow 
and said he wanted to make a CD-ROM, and I gave him $50,000 
to make it , there's no way I'll get the money back. So the purpose 
of the contest is to get younger artists to do a treatment piece on 
their own. 

Independent: When's the deadline? 

Stein: February 1. 

Independent: If people don't have access to the equipment... 

Stein: That's part of the passion question. If you can't beg, bor- 
row, and steal, you're never going to make it. 

Independent: Will the winning work be published by Voyager? 

Stein: We're not taking any rights to the works that are submit- 
ted. We don't know what we're going to see. 

Independent: How many projects do you usually have in the 
works at one time? 

Stein: One hundred or so. 

Independent: How do you see Voyager fitting into the informa- 
tion superhighway of the future? 

Stein: Hardware is an irrelevant question. We're not focused on 
hardware; we're focused on ideals. 

Independent: Do you see getting more involved with the tech- 
nologies of the future? 

Stein: We are publishers, and we use whatever medium we can. 
As new distribution media evolve, we will change. What form 
[the published works] will take, we don't really know right now. 

Independent: Do you have a lot of competition? 

Stein: Our competitors are Microsoft, Sony, Warner, Random 
House... 

Independent: Where do you see Voyager 10 years from now? 

Stein: Our goal for the past 10 years — and I hope for another 
10 — is publishing. Publishing. 



TAPPING THE 
CD-ROM MARKET 



Independent: I'm curious how you market the CD-ROM tech- 
nology, since it's so new, and many people are unfamiliar with it. 

Todd Wade, Marketing Coordinator, the Voyager Company: 

We went and talked to movie industry [insiders] about CD- 
ROM. Fundamentally, they could relate to a movie like Hard 
Day's Night. Most people have heard of CD-ROM, but they 
haven't seen a film on one, so the fact that they understood the 
movie and the script was really a help. Siskel and Ebert talked 
about it, and so did Leonard Maltin. After that, Hard Day's Night 
flowed naturally into the growing consumer desire for CD-ROM 
discs. Also, this disc fits the typical owner of Macintosh CD- 
ROM: about 40 years old with a lot of high-tech equipment. 

Independent: Did these demographics factor into the decision of 
which film was used? 




Independent: How are you market- 
ing Hard Days' Night 7 . 
Where would I find it in 
a store? And which 
store — A bookstore? A 
video store? 

Wade: If you walked into 
computer store, they now 
have CD-ROM sections, 
which is a rather new devel- 
opment. This is the first year 
that CD-ROM sections 
became almost mandatory. Any store with a software section has 
them. 

Independent: And are there displays? 

Wade: What we did was put a preview on the disc, so any retailer 
with a computer set up could let it run. 

Independent: Bob Stein said the sales of Hard Day's Night have 
not been stellar. Is that what you anticipated? 

Wade: Well, it's only been on the market less than half a year, 
and there are lots of new purchasers in the marketplace. Hard 
Day's Night was named MacUser Magazine's top-selling disc [in 
September 1993]. 

Independent: Are there others in the works? 

Wade: We just released a Windows version, so now it's available 
for Macintosh and Windows. Our next CD-ROM is a guide to 
our collection of movies on laserdisc called Criterion Goes to the 
Movies. After that we'll release Salt of the Earth in January. It's a 
dramatic film from the fifties about conditions in the rural South- 
west. 

Independent: Why that film? 

Wade: It's a film that's particularly important to one of Voyager's 
four owners. It's also a project that lends itself to multiple sound. 
We can use both Spanish and English. It was also blacklisted in 
the U.S. 

I think the CD-ROM technology will have to improve, so the 
quality of the video is enhanced. Because of the additional infor- 
mation that CD-ROM discs provide, people are willing to accept 
watching the film at a much smaller size than they would on a 
regular movie or television screen. It's a different way of studying 
or examining film. 

Independent: How important is marketing to Voyager overall? 

Wade: To continue to publish the types of works we've published 
in the past, we need to ensure that the market grows in a way 
that works with what we're trying to do. The market could grow 
around "edu-tainment." That's unacceptable to me, but that is 
the major direction in which the market is growing. 



Wade: I guess it was one of the factors. 



25 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 25 



by Brian Goldfarb 





Creating Safer-Sex Software 



Users of the computer-interactive dating 
game Brothers are confronted with a 
provocative invitation: "Touch any man 
on the right to turn him on," reads one 
of the game's first menu options. To the 
right of the text 
appear wallet-sized 
portraits of four 
African- American 
men, potential dream 
dates who come alive, 
speak, and engage in 
dialogue with users at 
the touch of the cursor. 
This is no ordinary 
arcade game but a pro- 
gram created by and for 
gay, bisexual, and trans- 
gendered African- 
American men to generate discussion about safer- 
sex practices. The laserdisc and computer interface are 
designed to be installed in freestanding kiosks in gay 




bars and clinics and to be accessed at no cost to the 

user. 

Brothers is a collaborative project of the Interact Program of the 
Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) and the Brothers' Network, a 
service organization within the National Task Force on AIDS 
Prevention (NTFAP) that focuses on HIV/AIDS prevention, 

treatment, advocacy, and counsel- 
ing. The program is one of many 
new interactive software projects 
produced through collaborations 
between independent producers, 
media arts organizations, and 
AIDS advocacy groups. 

Video is a familiar mode of 
safer-sex education and media 
activism among nonprofits in part 
because it has become relatively 
cheap and standardized, and it can 
be broadly distributed. Some advo- 
cacy groups, like the Gay Men's 
Health Crisis (GMHC) of New 
York, have created in-house audio- 
visual departments devoted mainly 
to video production and distribu- 
tion. Interactive software products 
like Brothers, however, are less 
familiar items in the HIV/AIDS 
nonprofit media context. Requiring expensive production facili- 
ties and specialized playback platforms, programs like this have, 
until recently, been viable only among institutions and businesses 
that can afford specialized, high-end multimedia stations. Why, 



26 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 26 




rKSWfll bridh, 

then, are nonprofit media and 
HIV/AIDS advocacy organiza- 
tions pursuing interactive multi- 
media production? 

Interactive computer pro- ^ 
grams like Brothers, the British 
media arts group ARTEC's 
Think Positive, and Canadian 
First Nation producer Russell 
Wallace's AIDS and the Native | 
Community serve a particular 
need that can't be adequately 
met by video alone. In most 
cases, HIV/AIDS videos are 
presented to audiences in workshops, peer groups, and classrooms 
and often are followed by peer- or counselor-led discussions. 
Interactive computer programs can offer a very different kind of 
viewing experience, one that potentially engages its audience in 
more casual, less structured settings, effectively reaching people 
who may not choose to read a pamphlet, attend a video screen- 
ing, rent a tape, or participate in a workshop. Furthermore, these 
programs can be designed to incorporate multiple narratives, 
characters, or kinds of information, which users can selectively 
choose from to cut right to their particular interests and needs. 
Interactives engage viewers in an exchange that has the potential 
to be more to the point and more intimate than a video screen- 
ing. Media producers and HIV/AIDS service organizations are 
recognizing that, despite the current high production costs and 
technical obstacles to distribution, HIV/AIDS software programs 
may offer useful new strategies for media outreach, communica- 
tion, activism, and education. 

Many new commercial interactive software releases in CD- 
ROM and laserdisc formats are little more than translations of 
existing educational printed matter (textbooks or reference mate- 
rials, for example) into a digital format. Although these programs 
may provide convenient features, like random-access indexing 
(through a computer word search, for instance) or in-text digi- 
tized video clips, the concept of interactivity they offer too often 
remains entrenched in models of rote learning, where "choice" 
becomes simply a matter of choosing the right answer, deciding 
among limited options, or being able to leave a comment on a 
message board. HIV/AIDS computer media by independents so 
far has not fallen into this trap. The three safer-sex and 
HIV/AIDS programs discussed in this article rework and trans- 
form the conventions of interactivity that we find in commercial 
software. They offer experiences that are engaging and informa- 
tive not because they offer more choice or more viewer control, 
but because they provide a pleasurable fantasy of interaction and 
a kind of virtual intimacy, inviting users to play out roles within a 
narrative that is modeled after their own cultural experiences. 

Brothers 

Just prior to the BAVC/NTFAP collaboration on the 1993 Broth- 
ers interactive game, a study was released by the University of 
California that showed knowledge about risk doesn't translate 
into safer-sex practices. Based on a sample of approximately 1,000 
self-identified gay, bisexual, and transgendered black men, this 
study revealed that while 97 percent knew how the HIV virus is 
transmitted, only 54 percent consistently engaged in safer-sex 
practices. So when BAVC and NTFAP set out to produce an 
educational program, their aim was not to teach the facts, but to 
create a fictional (and more comfortable) environment that 
would invite users to creatively devise, enact, and rehearse safer 
sexual behavior. The Brothers' Network acted as a content 
expert, while BAVC's Interact Program provided a team of 10 
interns to help design the interface. The idea was to translate 



role-playing games that had 
proven effective in risk-reduction 
workshops into scripted narratives 
with multiple pathways for user 
interaction. 

Brothers, which began as a 
prototype laserdisc called Hot, 
Horny, and Healthy, invites partic- 
ipation in simulated encounters 
with a range of fictional charac- 
ters. These characters are scripted 
to express a diversity of sexual 
preferences and perspectives on 
safer sex. Their dialogue is very 
nuanced and, like any real people, they may express ambiguous or 
inconsistent views in the course of conversation. By scripting in 
nuance and mixed messages, the producers of Brothers avoid 
stereotyping and didacticism. As Tony Glover, director of the 
Brothers' Network, notes, "Each of the characters in the Brothers 
interactive dating game is well-rounded and developed with dif- 
ferent psychological motivations in mind." For example, Jealousy, 
a transgendered character, makes statements about safer sex that 
are not programmatic, but embody ambiguity and emotion. She 
says that she never has unsafe sex — "except when tempted by the 
heat of the moment." Clearly, Jealousy's position is no model for 
safer-sex practice. However, if users bring out her impulsive side, 
a safer-sex diva crashes the encounter to offer commentary, 
words of caution, and suggestions for the user to take responsibili- 
ty for safer sex. 

Clearly, the interactive component of Brothers is not limited to 
one-on-one encounters between an individual user and the char- 
acter^) chosen on the touch-screen. But the safer-sex diva is not 
the only third party in the game. Set up in public spaces such as 
bars, the game invites joking and casual conversations about the 
issues it raises. The NTFAP hopes the arcade game will function 
like its role-playing workshops, initiating open discussion of topics 
that people usually negotiate in private. 

So far, only one Brothers kiosk has been produced, but it has 
been a big hit wherever it has been installed. BAVC and the 
Brothers' Network targeted gay clubs, bars, and organizations fre- 
quented by black men as the first sites for the project. Since it is 
unlikely that neighborhood software dealers will market the pro- 
gram any time soon, the NTFAP is seeking to produce kiosks for 
other U.S. cities. They also hope to make specially designed 
kiosks to be installed in public spaces (for example, along the 
Castro in San Francisco), much like bank machines. These erotic 
ATMs, set up in various cities around the nation, would display 
different narrowcast programs — that is, narratives and characters 
would be designed to correspond with the interests and tastes of 
gay men living in particular geographical areas and socializing in 
specific gay subcultures. 

Think Positive 

Another group involved in the production of HIV/AIDS interac- 
tives is the Arts Technology Centre (ARTEC), an East London 
nonprofit that offers training to individuals and community-based 
groups. Like BAVC, ARTEC began by producing one-off interac- 
tive works requiring specialized exhibition equipment and site- 
specific installation. One such project is the 1993 Sex Gets 
Serious, a production for urban youth made in collaboration with 
youth-theater groups and the Birmingham, England-based non- 
profit arts organization Jubilee Arts, and sponsored by the 
Sandwell Area Health Authority in Birmingham. Installed in 
neighborhood spaces such as the Sandwell Clinic, Sex Gets Serious 
invites users to navigate virtual streets, buses, and interior spaces. 
In the FAB (Females Answer Back) Room, for instance, one can 



27 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 27 



listen to music or view video clips, posters, and artwork produced 
by other youth on HIV/AIDS related topics. 

Sex Gets Serious was a big hit with young users, inspiring 
ARTEC to embark on a more elaborate interactive with funding 
from the East London and City Health Promotion Services. Cur- 
rently being tested, Think Positive will be available to schools on 
CD-ROM where it can be used by 1 1 -to- 16-year olds. Think Pos- 
itive is staged in two spaces: a virtual cafe, which is a social space 
made up of a number of connected rooms populated by hip char- 
acters and high-tech, cursor-activated objects; and a comic-book 
world that can be entered either by following or assuming the 
identity of a particular character. To get into the cafe, users log in 
with a doorperson by providing their name or pseudonym, age, 
and gender. This information determines some of the characteris- 
tics of the program's Help guidance tool, such as the gender of 
the narrative voice. There are five areas within the cafe: the 
Holodeck, the Chill-Out Room, a reference room, a mezzanine, 
and a reception area. The Holodeck is a high-tech cyberspace 
zone where users can access the Metamedia audiomobile (a safer- 
sex sound-bite device), VideoPositive (a place for visual media on 
HIV transmission), and areas for a one-on-one discussion with 
an advisor. The Chill-Out Room is a space for interactive-music 
jam sessions on songs about HIV issues, where the user has the 
option of eliciting solos from particular musicians in the room. 
Aspects of the dialogue and events throughout the program are 
keyed to the actual time of day or season. Each time users log on, 
the events are different, and if a user visits the cafe repeatedly, 
the characters become more chummy — they recall past interac- 
tions. 

Ro Rai, coordinator of ARTEC'S multimedia workshop, notes 
that the design team adapted the idea of the navigable environ- 
ment from some of the most engaging commercial entertainment 
products currently available in the U.K. (such as Virtual Night 
Club, by Trip Media). "The real challenge," Pai explains, "was to 
make contacts and understand the actual context in which this 
sort of project can be used." ARTEC worked with youth at sever- 
al schools, getting feedback on current CD-I, CD-ROM, and 
laserdisc products as well as HIV/AIDS pamphlets and video- 
tapes. Think Positive's design was based in part on students' reac- 
tions to these programs. For example, many students felt it was 
important to specify their gender, sexuality, and race and also 
wanted to be able to express aspects of their particular communi- 
ties and subcultures. These desires are accommodated in the nar- 
ratives of the comic books, for example, which are about youth 
whose personalities reflect a range of sexualities, cultures, and 
personal tastes. Entwined plots bring up critical issues that users 
might face in daily life, allowing them to negotiate actions and 
solutions by taking on the viewpoints of a variety of characters in 
various circumstances. 

The British health authorities aren't alone in recognizing the 
possibilities of reaching youth with new media. Closer to home, 
the New York State Department of Health has commissioned 
several AIDS/HIV interactive projects. These include an interac- 
tive dating game called Life Challenge, a kiosk that travels to sites 
that service sexually active adolescents, and a slick hypercard 
stack called CondomSense, which is available at no charge for 
Mac and 1MB platforms. 

AIDS and the Native American Community 

Healing Our Spirit, a First Nation theater group in British 
Columbia, has produced performances that deal with issues such 
as homelessness and HIV/AIDS. A new addition to their reper- 
toire is the interactive AIDS and the Native Community, a program 
produced by Canadian First Nation actor, performer, and com- 
poser Russell Wallace. Work with Healing Our Spirit provided 
Wallace with support and input from a broad range of AIDS ser- 




vice and advocacy resources. The interactive opens with music 

and voice-over narration, which states: "In every society, there 

are things that get passed on from generation to generation: lan- 

g u a ge , 

traditions, 

culture . 

But there \ 

are things i 

that we 

d o n ' 1 1 

want; 

passed on. 

One ofj 

those is a 

disease 

called 

AIDS." 

This 
line sig- 
nals the 
program's : 

overall approach. AIDS and the Native Community discusses 
HIV/AIDS within the context of native cultural values. Employ- 
ing graphic iconography, music, photography, and oral testimony, 
Wallace draws on contemporary Native culture to address his 
audience in ways that tie the issue to users' own life experiences. 
The interface is based on what Wallace refers to as "the cycle of 
healing." Clicking on different quadrants within a circular graphic 
leads users to areas devoted to information on four topics: What 
Is AIDS?; Prevention; Resources (for the Native American com- 
munity); and Being Positive (testimony of Native people with 
AIDS). The information provided in each area is framed within 
broader concerns of Native communities. For example, What Is 
AIDS? presents mechanisms of transmission that include tattoo- 
ing, ritual cutting, body piercing, and "anal (bum) sex." The same 
section also includes a sequence titled Native POV (Point of 
View), which highlights cofactors in transmission such as alcohol, 
substance abuse, and sexual abuse. 

Wallace points out that there are numerous obstacles for edu- 
cators in the Native community. Foremost is the tendency to see 
AIDS as a white disease. "Native peoples are already over- 
whelmed by social and economic problems that they perceive as 
more immediate," he explains. The program uses oral narrative 
and music to convey the growing prevalence of HIV infection 
among Native peoples. HIV/AIDS is presented as a problem 
immediately tied to other concerns within the community, such 
as alcohol, drug abuse, and poverty. 

Much of the intended audience for Wallace's program lives in 
rural areas, places where it would be difficult to transport a multi- 
media set up. When showing AIDS arid the Native Community, 
Wallace needs to bring the software, a computer, and a hard 
drive. The program fits onto a SyQuest removable drive, but it is 
conceived as a prototype for the more easily distributed CD-ROM 
format. It is only a matter of time before these new media forms 
are more commonly available. Wallace sees his work as akin to 
the work of early videographers, people working before the VCR 
and camcorder became consumer items. The growth of networks 
for communication and education across geographically isolated 
regions (networked classrooms, for example) suggests that venues 
for this type of work are forthcoming. 

Brian Goldfarb is an educator and media activist who has recently curated an exhibition 
of health-care media, called Digital Check-Up, for the Visual Studies Workshop. 



28 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 28 




Why and How You 
Should Get ON 



^^^r ver 20 years ago, in his book Expanded Cinema, Gene 
Youngblood said, "The intermedia network of cinema and televi- 
sion... now functions as nothing less than the nervous system of 
mankind." His words are still compelling — and nerve-racking — as 
we watch cinema and television link up with communications. 

In the early 1970s — a time when when San Francisco's PBS 
station KQED housed the National Center for Experiments in 
Television, 1/2-inch portapaks jump started a "hand-held" revolu- 
tion, and the guerilla TV collectives Raindance Corporation, 
Videofreex, and Video Free America tested the limits of televi- 
sion — another form of electronic communications was coming to 
life. The ARPAnet (Advanced Research Projects Agency net- 
work) was being funded by the Department of Defense. This pro- 
ject would eventually become the Internet, aka the "information 
superhighway." 

The media arts world that evolved from those early days has 
been a place for political activists, artists, and eccentrics. The 
Internet and on-line services, originally populated by scientists, 
engineers, and academics, have also become a haven for political 
activists, artists, and eccentrics. These parallel universes have 
been key defenders of freedom of expression, including public 
access to new communication technologies. 



by Luke Matthew Hones 



The Internet is an international network of computer net- 
works, roamed by an estimated 15 million people. One can't sub- 
scribe directly; this global web has no central office or business 
address. Most commercial on-line services, such as America 
Online, CompuServe, the WELL (Whole Earth Electronic Link), 
ECHO (East Coast Hang Out), and Arts Wire have made access 
to the Internet an important part of what they provide their cus- 
tomers. By calling them, you can find out how to get an account 
that includes an Internet connection (ask whether it's full access 
or just for electronic mail). The base fee for an on-line account is 
around $20 per month. Many media arts organizations have 
accounts with either Arts Wire or America Online, including the 
Association for Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), the 
National Alliance of Media Arts and Culture (NAM AC), 911 in 
Seattle, the Video Data Bank in Chicago, Intermedia Arts in 
Minneapolis, and the Bay Area Video Coalition in San Francisco. 

If one works at or attends a university, access is usually free 
through the school's Internet connection. Those outside the 
ivory tower can go through a number of small services that have 
sprung up specifically to provide an on-ramp to the Internet, such 
as Panix (212-877-4854), MindVOX (212-988-5987), and Net- 
com (408-554-8649). 

Until now, the media arts and Internet communities, while 
sharing common interests, have remained apart. But the time 
when worlds collide is at hand: Bell Atlantic, Baby Bell, and 
Tele-Communications Inc., the country's largest cable TV com- 
pany, have recently announced an intended merger. Sony Pic- 



29 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 29 



Email 
Menu 



tures has begun testing a new film distribution method, transmit- 
ting Bram Stoker's Dracula to theaters via a fiber-optic telephone 
line. The Internet now has a live radio program. In May 1993, the 
independent film Wax: Or the Discovery of Television among the 
Bees, by David Blair, was the first feature-length film broadcast 
internationally via the Internet. 

These efforts are basic research for what is to come. The con- 
vergence of media and telecommunications is commonplace 
today in the audio industry, which is often a proving 
ground for new technology and a harbinger for film 
and video. The title of an article in the October 
issue of MIX magazine says it all: "Global Audio. 
Telecommuting in the '90s." (MIX is essential read- 
ing for mediamakers looking for a technological 
crystal ball.) Using wide area networks (WANs) for 
audio production is a necessity, and facilities must 
offer it to stay competitive. 

Until film and video catch up to audio, what can 
computer on-line services do for you? They can 
connect you with a source of uncensored informa- 
tion. Ideally, a greater understanding of the Internet 
and online communications will give independent 
mediamakers a chance to affect the future of digital, 
computer-based telecommunications while it is still 
in the cocoon. 



What do you need to go on-line? First, you need a 
computer with a modem and a telephone line. 
While most everyone is familiar with computers and 
phone connections, the modem is an exotic piece of 
equipment. Modems (MOdulators-DEModulators) 
are digital-to-analog and analog- to-digital convert- 
ers. Computers are digital machines, and tradition- 
ally telephone lines carry analog signals. To transfer 
the digital signals from one computer over a tele- 
phone line to another computer, there's a conver- 
sion and reconversion process: The modem con- 
nected to the transmitting machine converts the 
computer's digital ones and zeros to analog bleeps 
and blips, which are relayed over the telephone 
lines. Then on the other end, the receiver's modem 
converts the bleeps and blips back into ones and 
zeros and sends the now digital signal to the receiv- 
ing computer. 

These modems can either be connected to the 
serial port of your computer (external modems) , or 
they may be installed inside the computer case 
(internal modems) . Many of the newer modems also 
operate as fax machines, so you can send and 
receive faxes at your computer. Modem prices start 
around $150 for internal and $70 for external. If 
you are buying a modem, it should be at least 2400 
bps, but the current standard is now 14,400 bps. 

You'll need communications software to use the 
modem. Nowadays most modems include software 
as part of the package. Still, at this point in its 
development, communications software for comput- 
ers is not intuitive. Even when using a Macintosh, a 
modem user must set the parameters for baud rate, 
parity, data bits, stop bits, local echo, etcetera. It takes patience, 
study, and trial and error, but probably no more than mastering 
camera registration, depth of field calculation, or lighting. 

Right now, once you're on the Internet, you are not going to 
find a friendly user interface. In fact, as Brendan Kehoe says in 
Zen and the Art of the Internet, "The Net still has what John Perry 
Barlow terms a 'savage user interface,' and some amount of hand- 



Private Messages) 



AND NOW? (Enter 0-6) : 
(0) 3 

Read which email mes- 
sages ? 



1 New messages 

2 All messages 

3 Select message (s) 
Return to Email menu 



holding is needed to guide people through the rough spots." Odds 
are you'll do lots of typing and need to learn a new computer 
operating system: UNIX. Surely this will change over time, as 
entrepreneurs develop alternative navigational tools. But at this 
stage, the Internet is where television was in the 1930s or cinema 
in the late nineteenth century; designed by engineers and trou- 
blemakers. You are getting in on the ground floor. 

For guidance and hand-holding, there are some very good 
books and magazine resources. Two helpful 
books on using the Internet are Kehoe's Zen 
and the Art of the Internet (Prentice Hall, 1993) 
and Ed Krol's The Whole Internet User's Guide 
and Catalog (O'Reilly & Associates, 1993). 
Both are guides for moving around the Internet 
and also provide lists of other resources. While 
BYTE and other computer magazines provide a 
lot of technical and practical information about 
going on-line, there may also be some useful 
free magazines in your area. In the San Francis- 
co Bay area, for instance, Computer Currents is 
published twice monthly and Microtimes 
monthly; both are full of information about 
online communications. 

One other book I'd recommend is The Cuck- 
oo's Egg, by Cliff Stoll (Simon and Schuster, 
1990). This is not a user guide, but tells the 
true story of a mystery that is unravelled on the 
Internet by Stoll, a Berkeley astronomer. By 
tracking down a 75-cent discrepancy in his 
Internet bill, Stoll eventually breaks up an espi- 
onage ring. Also recounted in the book is the 
tale of the "Internet Worm," a virus that 
destroyed data and shut down computers all 
across the country. In the process of story- 
telling, The Cuckoo's Egg helps the uninitiated 
understand how the Internet works. 



List email 

Read new email 

Read email 

Send email 

Delete email 

Send email to Arts 
Wire Network Coordinator 
Return to Action Menu 



Enter 0-3: (1) 3 

Enter the message number 
or range you want to 
read: 4 9 

(49) 



SUBJECT: Re : Manuscript 

MESSAGE from 

=gdfb@troi . cc. rochester . 

edu 

ll-NOV-93 12:56 

From: Brian Goldfarb 

<gdf b@troi . cc . rochester . 

edu> 

Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1993 

16:04:33 -0500 

Pat, 

I just emailed another 
copy of the manuscript . 
If you get this note, 
but not the manuscript, 
then it could mean that 
it is being held up 
because the message is 
so long. Anyway, bounce 
me back a message if you 
receive this before the 
manuscript (in which 

case we could just transfer 
the file directly via modem) 



Brian Goldfarb 



So, you've got a computer and a modem 
hooked up to a telephone line. The next thing 
to do is decide who to connect to. Probably the 
tool most often used on the Internet is email, or 
electronic mail. You have probably noticed the 
email addresses that have begun to appear on 
business cards and mailings. For instance, in 
NAMAC's November newsletter, MAIN, 
NAMAC's return address includes two new 
lines: 

namac @ tmn. com 
namac@aol.com 
These are two email addresses. In English 
they mean: NAMAC located on (@) The 
Meta Network (tmn), which carries Arts Wire. 
This is a commercial domain (com). The sec- 
ond address is for NAMAC's America Online 
(aol) email mailbox, also a commercial (com) 
domain. Other common-domain suffixes are 
edu (education), org (private organization), net 
(network), mil (military), and gov (govern- 
ment) . 

You can use an email system to conveniently send the same 
message to a number of receivers. If your colleagues or con- 
stituents are on-line, email is a quick way to get information out. 
If you get involved with an on-line discussion group, it also gives 
other participants a way to get in touch with you. 

The other key activities when you are on-line are participating 
in news groups and searching databases. Both can be incredible 



30 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 30 



resources for independent producers and media arts activists. 

Besides the major on-line services, there are over 65,000 mom- 
and-pop computer bulletin board services (BBSs) out there. 
These BBSs are computers and modems set up in someone's 
home or business, and often are pegged to particular interests. 
These computers are probably not hooked up with a larger system 
and thus do not provide Internet access. When you dial their 
number with your modem, a menu appears (there may be a user 
fee) , and you interact with the system. An example of a free bul- 
letin board service is one run by the Editors Special Interest 
Groups (ESIG), an organization whose members work at various 
postproduction facilities in the San Francisco Bay area. By calling 
(415) 705-0185, you can choose from various "conferences" or 
"news groups" about such topics as Multimedia, Film to Tape, 
Time Code, Tape Stock, Job Opportunities, and more. Once 
selected, you can scroll through (and download to print out) peo- 
ple's comments on the topic. You can also add an entry under any 
one of these topics either by asking a question of the experts or 
helping to troubleshoot someone else's problem. 

BBS news groups allow you to gather news and to join in the 
discussion. Topics are often at several levels of detail. After con- 
necting to a BBS, for instance, you may browse through a general 
discussion of video, delve into the Video Toaster news group, and 
probably even get into a lively discussion about troubleshooting 
new software on older systems. The Bay Area Video Coalition 
(BAVC) recently gathered research and commentary for a 
closed-captioning grant proposal from a deaf news group's discus- 
sion on captioning. 

A number of on-line services are geared toward film- and 
videomakers and/or artists. Arts Wire (tel: 212-233-3900, ext. 
212) and the Video Network (tel: 401-848-9454) come with two- 
way email, classifieds, and message posting. The Mediamakers on- 
line Service (tel: 800-283-7550) offers production resources 
(crew, talent, location guide, and equipment resources) and a cal- 
endar of industry events. Technet is a new nonprofit BBS for pro- 
fessionals in audio, video, film, broadcast, interactive media, and 
related fields. Its central feature is its Job Board for technically 
oriented job listings (Box 3024, New York, NY 10185). In addi- 
tion, media topics play an important role on many of the larger 
on-line services. Sam Spooner of High Peak Engineering uses 
CompuServe's Broadcast Engineers Forum to query other engi- 
neers on technical issues. He says SMPTE is also on Com- 
puServe. The WELL has both video and film forums. For more 
general audiences, America Online has a "Hollywood on-line" 
corner, which includes QuickTime previews of the latest Holly- 
wood releases and a variety of discussion groups on topics ranging 
from "The Worst Films Ever Made" to Richard Linklater's Dazed 
and Confused. 

Specialized bulletin boards provide a central place to sort out 
the issues common to everyone in the field. A comprehensive 
national listing of bulletin boards can be found in Boardwatch 
Magazine (8500 W. Bowles Ave., Ste. 210, Littleton CO 80123; 
303-973-6038). 

These smaller bulletin boards are like community radio sta- 
tions, reflecting the focus of a small community. The Internet, on 
the other hand, is more like a worldwide library and/or social 
club. According to the San Francisco Bay Guardian, the Internet 
was one of the few uncensored outlets for nonofficial information 
about the Gulf War. It also carried dispatches from Sarajevo. An 
article in the October 1993 issue of BYTE was an Internet dis- 
patch describing Iran's computer market, which noted that 
"Microsoft is also developing a version of Windows that is capa- 
ble of handling the right-to-left Persian script." 

The Internet provides a wealth of information for mediamakers 
working on documentaries. There are databases on practically 
every topic (physics, special education, dance, Star Trek, etc.). 



Plus many library catalogs are on-line. For instance, you can look 
up a book in the Library of Congress' database by author, title, or 
subject. 

A media-specific database that will soon be making the move 
to the Internet is the National Moving Image Database 
(NAMID), which has over 150,000 records of films and video- 
tapes. Significantly, Margaret Byrne, NAMID's administrator, has 
consistently sought to include independent media in this 
database, receiving records of videos and films from media arts 
centers and distributors like Electronic Arts Intermix. Along with 
getting the NAMID database on Internet, NAMID is in the early 
stages of developing software that will allow producers to register 
projects in the database as they are completed. The potential of 
this database as a tool for distribution or stock footage sale is 
enormous. It also may be an effective way of articulating the 
scope of work done in the media arts. 

There are a number of activist groups trying to keep on-line com- 
munications as accessible as possible. Thus far, much of the Inter- 
net's on-line information and, even, software is free for the tak- 
ing. Not surprisingly, commercial services are attempting to move 
in — and are being met with resistence. In California, activists are 
trying to keep information pertaining to public legislation avail- 
able to the public. The Legislative Data Center, as the initiative 
is known, is combatting information services such as Legi-Tech, 
which charges $175 per hour for public legislative information. 

In Washington, the Center for Media Education (CME) has 
been funded by the Pew Charitable Trust to help nonprofits with 
the upcoming technological transition. The CME will soon begin 
to publish a monthly newsletter on telecommunication issues for 
the nonprofit community. CME is located at 1511 K St. NW, Ste. 
518, Washington DC 20005. If you are trying out the Internet, 
their address is cme@access.digex.net. 

Finally, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has lobbied 
for a responsible future for telecommunications, which takes the 
public interest into account [see EFF profile, "Talking Heads,' 
November 1993]. EFF is located at 1001 G St. NW, Ste. 950 
East, Washington DC 20001. On the Internet, they are at 
eff@eff.org. 

Mitch Kapor, cofounder of EFF, spoke out in the July 4, 1993, 
issue of the San Francisco Examiner: "We have to start thinking 

now about what 

this 



Hollymood Online 



Hollywood Online 




[NEW I 

NEV 
MOVIES! 



tl Sneak Peeks 

tD Howie Studio3 

D Coning Soon 

IJJjP Pictures & Sound3 Tool3p> 



Movie 
Talk 



^ 



we want 
information 
superhighway to 
do and how it is 
going to be oper- 
ated." 

As reporter 
Tom Abate 

writes, paraphras- 
ing Kapor, "Will 
there be 'on- 
ramps' for citi- 
zens to put their 
ideas on the 
road, allowing 
electronic town meetings to occur? Or will the buzzword of 'inter- 
activity' mean pointing a TV remote at the screen to order pizzas 
or play video games with one's neighbors?" 

The on-line community is fighting to have a voice in this 
future. Does the independent media community want a voice as 
well? 

Luke Matthew Hones is program director for the Bay Area Video Coalition in San 
Francisco and is currently developing computer on-line projects for BAVC 




Keyword: Hollywood 



31 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 31 



THE MBONE'S 
CONNECTED TO 
THE BACKBONE 

Video on the Internet 



PATR,CIA THO 



M SON 

yacking in, you connect with Mission Control. On your 
computer screen, the space shuttle astronauts are bobbing 
in zero gravity, going about their tasks with quiet, cryptic 
commentary. 
Science fiction? Not anymore. NASA's space shuttle 
feed is a reality on the Internet's digital-video channel, called 
MBONE. Although the Internet is primarily used for text-based 
communications, video can now be transmitted over the global 
network. 

Of the various options now in use, the most sophisticated is 
MBONE (for "multicasting backbone"). No downloaded video 
files here; MBONE carries audio and video in a live, continuous 
multicast. Because of the extraordinary bandwidth this requires, 
receiving MBONE is something you can't try at home with a 
puny phone-line connection. Currently only several thousand 
university centers and research labs can log onto MBONE, 
according to Paul Jones, an MBONE user at the University of 
North Carolina's Office of Information Technology. "It goes 
through the [Internet's] backbone to most of the important sites 
on the net," he explains. In addition to a fat Internet connection, 
one needs the necessary software (which can be found via anony- 
mous ftp on SunSITE.unc.edu in pub/packages/infosystems/ 
mbone). And one must have a powerful workstation. "It takes a 
UNIX machine — Silicon Graphics, Hewlett Packard, Sun, DEC," 
says Jones. "And you actually have to reconfigure the kernel of 
your UNIX to support it." 

Unlike a broadcast channel, MBONE's multicasting capabili- 



32 THE INDEPENDENT 



ties allow users to call up multiple video windows at the same 
time. Originally designed as a video conferencing tool for 
researchers too busy to travel to professional gatherings, MBONE 
continues to be used primarily as a way for individuals to see each 
other and share images. Astronomers, for example, use MBONE 
to have Gopher-style access to each other's digitized visual 
databases and to "meet" to discuss the same picture together. 
Although it involves visualization, MBONE is closer to a tele- 
phone model or the Internet's MUDs (multi-user domains) than 
it is to the 500-channel television model. 

Some of MBONE's feeds are continuous. Others are special 
events, as were the proceedings in November of the Internet 
Engineering Task Force's conference. "They are the people who 
really run the Internet, who write the code, the laws of the net," 
says Jones. Or on October 12, one could catch what was believed 
to be the first appearance of President Clinton on the Internet. 
"We knew that Clinton was coming to the university [to speak]," 
recalls Jones, who organized the netcast, "and we thought it 
would be interesting to involve the national information highway 
in this." Jones brought in several collaborators, including Sun 
Microsystems, which was developing a new video board at the 
time; the local public television station WUNC-TV, whose cam- 
eras provided the video feed (old-fashioned couch potatoes could 
tune into the President on public TV); and the MCNC Center 
for Communications, a public-private partnership connected to 
the university, which provided a direct link to the Internet back- 
bone. 

If neither the space shuttle, the President, nor the Internet 
engineers strike one's fancy, MBONE inevitably has other options 
to choose from. "It has a tool like a current TV Guide 
continued on page 60 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 32 



2'3M0aM 3HT 
OT 03T03MMOO 

IrlUa/IJAd J HI 




33 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 33 





ON DEMAND 



C L A Y 




»> 



. W 




bly llHC* By the end of the fir ;aule of the next millennium, virtually even 



JANUARY/FERUARY 1994 34 



business and household in America will have access to hundreds 
of times more communications bandwidth than is currently avail- 
able to all broadcast communications. 

While this revolution is usually referred to in terms of 500 
channels, to think in terms of conventional channels is limiting. 
Today, pay-per-view "near video on demand" systems use excess 
channel capacity to schedule the same movie on several channels 
with staggered starting times. This makes it possible for viewers to 
choose when they want to watch a movie in the same way they 
get to choose at what time to see a film playing on several screens 
at the local nineplex. Although there will be more freedom to 
choose viewing times, there is still only a limited number of 
movies that can be shown, even if there are 500 screens. 

True video on demand (VOD) systems will work over commu- 
nications networks that operate on the same access and switching 
principles as the telephone system. Rather than the remote con- 
trol just being a simple channel changer, VOD remotes will pro- 
vide viewers with direct access to a wide variety of programming 
stored as compressed digital video on special computers called 
video servers. It will still be possible to watch conventionally 
scheduled network programming, but viewers will also be able to 
browse the aisles of the local blockbuster-hits digital-video store 
and preview programs right on their TV screens. If they can't find 
anything to watch there, they can switch to video stores that 
cater to special interests. The ultimate effect of VOD will be to 
put the final decision of what to watch — and when to watch it — 
in the hands and remote controls of viewers. Instead of having 
500 channels, there will be 280-million channels: everybody will 
get to program their own. 

By replacing one-way broadcast and cable transmission with 
interactive dial-up access to programming stored on video servers, 
the networks' and cable programmers' almost total control over 
what can be transmitted into viewers' homes will be largely elimi- 
nated. By eliminating channel capacity constraints, many of the 
barriers to utilizing television as a distribution medium will fall. 

It is too early to know exactly who will own and operate these 
VOD networks, but the changes in the industry that are reflected 
by the creation of new alliances — such as the ones between Bell 
Atlantic (a telephone company) and TCI (Telecommunications 
Inc., the largest cable operator in the U.S.) and between USWest 
(a telephone company) and Time Warner (a programmer, distrib- 
utor, and cable-systems operator) — indicate that it is very likely 
to be some combination of telephone and cable companies. 

With the telephone companies' involvement in providing video 
over the telephone network (often referred to as video dialtone) 
comes the likelihood that, because of regulations requiring the 
phone companies to provide equal access to their networks, inde- 
pendent producers will, for the first time, enjoy equal access to a 
major programming distribution medium on the same terms as the 
movie studios and network and cable programmers. According to 
Alan Daley, director of Bell Atlantic's Network Services, "Video 
dialtone is regulated by the FCC, and everyone — not just major 
studios and cable companies, but independent producers as 
well — has access to our network under the same terms." While 
the FCC's video dialtone regulations allow Bell Atlantic to deploy 
lines and equipment into homes, they do not permit the phone 
company (a "common carrier") to determine or veto what pro- 
gramming is carried over its video dialtone networks. 

Until recently, Bell Atlantic had been prohibited from being a 
content provider as a result of the 1984 Cable Act and the 
antitrust lawsuit that broke up Ma Bell into AT&T and the seven 
regional Bell operating companies. However, as a result of a court 
decision last fall in Alexandria, Virginia, Bell Atlantic is no longer 
prohibited from getting into the programming business as a pack- 
ager and content creator. In essence, Bell Atlantic could become 



competition to independents interested in distributing program- 
ming via VOD. 

Even if Bell Atlantic were to become a programmer, Daley sees 
an affinity between Bell Atlantic and independent producers: 
"Within Bell Atlantic there is a receptivity to the fact that a 
number of different approaches [to programming] will need to be 
supported. We do plan to make space available for independent 
productions as well as twenty thousand or so mainstream movies. 
[We] may offer our own programming just as any cable operator 
might, but in many cases it's far more appropriate for profession- 
als to develop content and for Bell Atlantic to collaborate with 
them to make it available." 

Robin Smith is an independent producer who will have two of 
her programs, Shooting Back, a documentary incorporating pho- 
tography by homeless children, and Who's Gonna Sing Our Song?, 
a documentary about a multimedia history project, available on 
Bell Atlantic's VOD trial in Arlington, Virginia. Smith became 
aware of the Arlington trial through her work with Bell Atlantic 
on its Community Services Network project in which 200 social- 
service agencies and health care providers in Washington, D.C., 
are going to be linked in a nonbroadcast network. She is excited 
about the possibilities opened up by VOD technology. "At the 
moment," Smith says, "Independents' work is usually relegated to 
nonprime-time hours or to news programming where only short 
segments are ever seen. By eliminating time and channel con- 
straints, video dialtone is a way to break down barriers, to put 
independent producers back on the field again. However, even if 
time and channel constraints are eliminated, my films are going 
to be included in the trial along with commercial fare. The chal- 
lenge will be to tell viewers that these types of programs are avail- 
able." 

Jim McBride, a New York-based technology writer and inde- 
pendent producer, also believes that there is a role for indepen- 
dently produced programming over video dialtone networks, but 
"Effective promotion will be the big key, not only just for feature 
programs, but for any type of program," he predicts. "In the video 
dialtone universe, the successful independents will be those who 
focus on specific markets with focused product. In many respects 
it will be like the magazine business, with titles aimed at niche 
markets supported by micro-marketing." 

According to Mike Morrison, manager of Advanced Opera- 
tions Testing, a division of GTE Telephone Operations, "VOD 
can be very specialized. Our Cerritos, California, trial currently 
programs about 25 entertainment titles each month, and there 
are about 200 educational titles available." Under a waiver from 
the FCC relaxing cross-ownership regulations that prohibit a sin- 
gle company from providing telephone and cable service in the 
same community, GTE turned to an outside firm, McDermott 6k 
Associates of Pasadena, California, to create the package of pro- 
gram offerings for the trial. Maggie McDermott, who started her 
entertainment career at MGM/UA handling sales to cable opera- 
tors for pay-per-view and began packaging programming for the 
Cerritos trial in 1989, says: "We purchase about 25 entertain- 
ment titles each month, and anywhere from two to five of them 
are independently produced. With only 20 channels of network 
to program in the trial, there's more programming than channels. 
At the moment, 'shelf space' is at a premium." 

McDermott & Associates acquires programming from a wide 
variety of sources, including the studios, larger independent dis- 
tributors such as New Line/Fine Line and Miramax, and smaller 
independent producers that McDermott identifies, to a large 
extent, by word of mouth. "Having 500 channels," continues 
McDermott, "bodes well for independents, because there will 
finally be room for independent documentaries, animation, and 
features. In video dialtone networks, access to distribution will no 
longer be controlled by the bottleneck of channel capacity." 



35 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 35 



• Entertainment 

• Shopping 

• Banking 
•Advertising 

• Education 
•Health 

• Travel 



However, in order to reach audiences, independents are going 
to have to evolve their marketing strategies using promotion, 
direct mail, and niche-oriented magazines. "The common carriers 
are only going to be successful [with video dialtone] to the extent 
that others are successful," says McDermott. "Programmers will 
have to learn to define audiences as subsets of a community. Dur- 
ing the Barcelona Summer Olympics, NBC tried pay-per-view 
and found it difficult to reach audiences with access to pay-per- 
view cable channels, let alone the people interested in fringe 
sports like archery. Special interest networks can only be support- 
ed by being able to find and sustain niche audiences." 

While there are rules that prohibit telephone companies from 
giving or selling demographic information to third parties, this 
information can be 
used by them to tar- 
get promotions di- 
rectly to viewers 
most likely to be 
interested in various 
kinds of program- 
ming. Says GTE's 
Morrison: "GTE can 
really benefit inde- 
pendent producers 
because we can also 
help with the mar- 
keting of their prod- 
ucts. In a sense, 
GTE wants to 
become a value- 
added common car- 
rier, with the capa- 
bility to help inde- 
pendents and other 
packagers with pro- 
motion, and GTE 
has already devel- 
oped policy in this 
areas." GTE has 
been experimenting 
in Cerritos with 
ways of getting pro- 
gramming informa- 
tion to viewers. 
Examples of targeted promotional activities include flyers and 
coupons inserted into telephone bills, in addition to placement in 
printed monthly guides and online guides. 

For the consumer, there are likely be two components to the 
cost of receiving VOD programming. The first charge is for the 
network access time to view the program, and the second is for 
the value of the content itself. In all likelihood, there will be 
tiered access to the video dialtone network just as there now is 
for cable, with access to many services provided for a basic 
monthly fee and fee-for-use access to everything else. It is expect- 
ed that the majority of VOD movie programming will be priced at 
a small premium over video-store rental prices. 



While there are several routes by which independents are most 
likely to gain access to video dialtone networks, the basic process 
is the same: Space is leased on a network's video server. The cost 
of the lease is determined by the length of the program. Informa- 
tion about the program is inserted in the network's online elec- 
tronic program guide, and for additional fees, supplemental mar- 
keting services can be purchased. 

One access route for independent producers will be through 
packagers hired by the common carriers to develop program offer- 



ings. McDermott & Associates, which has been acting as a pack- 
ager for GTE's Cerritos trial, has been negotiating short term — 
30- to 60-day — licenses strictly on a commission basis. Program 
rentals are typically split 50/50, and there is a minimum payment 
due the producer for each buy of the program. (Commission splits 
and minimums are likely to be negotiating points when VOD 
becomes a commercial reality.) 

Another route will be through the new distribution companies 
that will undoubtedly be formed specifically to package program- 
ming concepts for distribution via VOD. One of the primary roles 
of these independent VOD distributors will be to act as brokers, 
leasing large quantities of space from VOD providers and then 
reselling them at discounted rates to individuals and small corn- 



Bell Atlantic Future Network Architecture 



Central Office 



IS Platform SBB&M 




IS Application Services 



CATV 
Providers 



ADSL AcynuMbtoHgMSubecrfcerUne BON: Integrated Services Okjrtel Network 

CATV: CommurirtyArrtsfwuTslsvtslori VMS: Vote* Messaging Services 

EM: Electronic Dooument Inter c hange Vf>: Video rntorrnetkm Provider 

IS: Mormetlori Service* 



panies. 

Still a third access 
route will be through 
distributors currently 
handling independent 
programming who 
decide to package 
independent pro- 
gramming for VOD 
distribution, develop- 
ing packages not only 
for local exhibition, 
but for television mar- 
kets all across the 
country. Producers 
could go to one of 
these independent 
VOD packagers and 
ask questions like: I 
want to reach the fol- 
lowing target viewing 
audience, and I have 
so much budgeted. 
What's my best media 
buy? The packager 
would place the pro- 
gramming in selected 
markets. Film festival 
organizers could use 
such a packager to 
help simultaneously 
preview films to audiences outside their geographic areas. Ambi- 
tious VOD packagers could even purchase their own video server 
and create an "Indie Channel," so that independent producers 
and audiences living outside the major film centers can enjoy a 
New York or Los Angeles screening schedule. 

A fourth route will be for independents to negotiate with the 
common carriers directly. GTE, for example, has both local and 
national sales forces in place and appears ready to make those 
resources available to anybody interested in placing and promot- 
ing programs locally, regionally, and nationally. Mike Morrison 
anticipates: "When producers approach GTE, they will be able to 
discuss not only the costs of placing a program on a GTE video 
server, but also the details of marketing plans to inform viewers of 
the programs' availability online." 

The many trials that are currently underway around the country 
are designed not only to help solve the technical issues relating to 
video dialtone, VOD, and other interactive television services, 
but to better understand what viewers want and how much they 
are likely to pay for these new services. 

Because of the very small number of homes in GTE's Cerritos 
trial (4,300) and the skewed population sample in Bell Atlantic's 



36 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 36 



WORLDWIDEVIEWS 




Worldwide Television News® is the definitive 
source for archive and background footage 

of news, sports, personalities, locations, 

history and much more. computerized for 

direct access. any tape format. call for 

all your production requirements. 

1 -800-526-1161 




wm 



STOCK & ARCHIVE FOOTAGE • INTERNATIONAL NEWS GATHERING • CAMERA CREWS • PRODUCTION FACILITIES • SATELLITE SERVICES 

1995 BROADWAY NEW YORK, NY 10023 Tel: (212) 362-4440 Fax: (212) 496-1269 Copyright 1993 Worldwide Television News Corporation 



ViuEO 




Affordable Loggi 
Videotape Edith 
Automated QuickTi/ 
Movies from your VCR 




Turns your computer into a. 

powerful video editing utility. 

Controls consumer, industrial and 

most professional video equipment. 

Supports ViSCA and RS 422 VTRs. 

Infrared control for the record device and 
Head and Tail video Snap-Shots™ with all 
QuickTime™ video boards. Now supports 
Panasonic AG 1 970 & 5700 



onf" ' TRf 



14 Ross Avenue, Millis, MA 02054 

(505) 376-3712 Fax (506) 376-3714 

Orders Only - (500)253-5553 

America Online/key word-Abbate 





I CTHflOT nCTHI? APTQ 



SCHOOLOFTHEARTS 

Position Yourself for the Interactive Future 



Our master's program in Interactive 
Telecommunications is for creative people 
who are excited about the opportunities 
that converging technologies offer. 

Our program is on the frontier of the digital 
future. Our students synthesize ideas with 
the use of personal computers, video, 
sound, graphics, animation, and text in 
truly innovative ways. Their backgrounds 
reflect a broad range of experience that 



includes the humanities, design, music, 
writing, and video. 

We encourage our students to explore and 
collaborate among disciplines to create new 
forms of electronic media Our program 
will position you for the interactive future. 

For more information, mail the coupon 
below, fax it to (212) 998-1898, or call 
(212) 998-1880. 



Tisch School of the Arts 

New York University 

IND 1/94 

721 Broadway, 7th Floor 

New York, N.Y. 10003 

Art: Danielle Fellin Bernardo 

NrvYork 

New York University is an affirmative 
action/equal opportunity institution. 



Please send me information about the Interactive Telecommunications Program. 
□ Master's degree program D Summer sessions 

Name 



Address 


City 


Stale Zip Code 


Telephone ( ) 


Soc. Sec. No. 



37 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 37 



Arlington trial (400 homes, all Bell Atlantic employees), it is 
impossible to reliably determine from them how much the true 
costs of gaining access to VOD servers will be, nor is it possible to 
determine what independent producers can expect to earn 
through VOD distribution. Furthermore, too few people are 
involved in the current trials to develop reliable statistics for the 
VOD viewing habits of Americans in general. 

How long it will be before video dialtone is available in a signif- 
icant percentage of American households is anybody's guess. Jim 
McBride expects that it will take five to 10 years. Bell Atlantic's 
Alan Daley estimates that video dialtone will be available in its 
top 20 markets within five years. Pacific Bell announced in 
November that, using fiber optics, it will connect 1.5 million Cali- 
fornia homes by 1996 and another 2 million by the year 2000. 
While solutions to the 
technical problems that 
must be overcome to 
meet these time projec- 
tions are large, the 
problems are, in fact, 
solvable. The same can- 
not be said for the regu- 
latory and antitrust 
issues that need to be 
addressed. 

The outcome of the 
antitrust and regulatory 
debates will affect not 
only how long it takes 
for video dialtone to 
become an everyday 
reality, but also the cost 
of delivering VOD ser- 
vices to everyone who 
wants them. Among the 
regulatory issues to be 
addressed is the 
dichotomy between 
local and long- distance 
telephone service. Bell 
Atlantic's territory is 
divided into 19 LATAs, 
or local access transport 
areas, in several states. 
By federal law, Bell 
Atlantic is prohibited 
from carrying messages 
between LATAs and 
across state lines — that's the province of the long-distance carri- 
ers and cable companies. If this state of affairs persists, it could 
mean that Bell Atlantic would be required to maintain separate, 
very expensive video servers for each LATA, thereby increasing 
the costs of providing VOD services to producers and consumers. 

Also problematic is the issue of cross-ownership, which prohibits 
the same company from providing cable and telephone service to 
the same community. As this article was being completed, the 
FCC announced that it was rescinding the cross-ownerhip waiver 
GTE received in 1989 for its Cerritos trial, citing a federal court 
ruling that the FCC had not adequately justified why the waiv- 
er — the only one ever granted — was needed. The ruling, which 
takes effect in March, 1994, may seriously jeopardize any chance 
that cable and telephone company alliances will be the vehicle by 
which VOD services will be provided to consumers. Pacific Bell's 
ambitious plan to provide VOD rests on its ability to report Bell 
Atlantic's legal challenge to the cross-ownership regulations — so 




Laying down fiber-optic cable in Cerritos, California. Photos p. 34 & 38 courtesy GTE 



far only the only successful one. However, phone companies are 
legally allowed to provide new interactive services, such as tele- 
medicine, that don't directly compete with what cable companies 
currently offer. 

Will VOD make the television of the future a more democratic 
place? Certainly, it will seem so from the viewer's point of view. 
But it remains to be seen if the opportunities VOD promises will 
materialize for independent producers. The removal of channel 
capacity limitations does not automatically mean that more peo- 
ple will actually watch a given program; it simply means that the 
potential audience will be much larger. Producers will have to 
work just as hard — or even harder — to let audiences know that 
this new programming is available, that it's worth watching, and 
that it's worth paying for. 

The costs to the 
independent producer, 
community organizer, 
and social issue docu- 
mentarian to lease 
space on video servers 
and gain access to the 
video dialtone net- 
works will be the same 
as for the movie stu- 
dios and cable compa- 
nies. Ironically, the 
same provisions that 
require the phone 
companies to provide 
equal access also pro- 
hibit them from dis- 
criminating between 
for-profit and nonprof- 
it organizations. Unless 
the regulations are 
changed, the phone 
companies will contin- 
ue to be restricted 
from offering special 
discounts to one group 
to the exclusion of 
others. Also absent 
from most discussions 
about VOD is talk 
about community 
access of the same sort 
that is required as a 
condition of the major- 
ity of cable franchises. 

While many people are excited about the bold new frontier 
that VOD promises, no one knows exactly what it will mean for 
anyone, least of all for those program producers currently denied 
easy and regular access to conventional television distribution. 
VOD networks could be an independent producer's dream distri- 
bution medium, making it possible to inexpensively and profitably 
distribute any sort of programming to interested viewers all across 
the country. Unfortunately, questions concerning equal access 
and the costs of using the medium are lost in the battles over who 
gets to provide the services. About the only thing clear from the 
current tests is that, so far, the opportunities — as well as the 
rewards — for independent producers are limited. 

Clay Gordon is a computer consultant and writer who has covered the computer- 
graphics field for the last 10 years. 



38 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 38 



STABLE EDITORIAL 



AVID FILM COMPOSER (24 FPS) AND AVID 8000 
(OFF-LINE/ON-LINE) SUITES 



LOW A LA CARTE AND 



EDITORS, ASSISTANTS AND TRAINING AVAILABLE 



449 WASHINGTON ST (IN TRIBECA) • NEW YORK NY 1 OO 1 3 
TELEPHONE: 212-219-8200 FACSIMILE: 212-219-2357 



CODE 16 

16 MM EDGE NUMBERING 

^ Codes Every 16 Frames 

^ Prints on All 16 MM Stock 
Including Polyester 

^ Clearest, Easiest to Read 
Numerals Anywhere 

Lowest Prices Anywhere 

Price per ft $.0125 

1000 ft $12.50 

(212)496-1118 



Same day service - 
Weekends & rush hours possible 



262 W. 91 st St. 
NY, NY 10024 

Monday ■ Friday 10-5 




British 

Crown 

Archives 



^ (818) 505 8997 



THE BRITISH CROWN ARCHIVES IS A COLLECTION OF THREE VAST HISTORICAL 
FILM LIBRARIES, ORIGINALLY PRODUCED FOR THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT: 



^"iZP'T'T,,. 



nw 



THE NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVES 

The British counterpart to the National Archives in Washington, DC 

THE CENTRAL OFFICE OF INFORMATION 

A century's worth of government commissioned films 

THE IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM 

One of the world's premiere sources of military footage 



BCA: 3855 Lankershim Blvd. Suite 102 • Universal City, CA 91604 USA • Fax (818) 505 8184 




Festivals 



this month's festivals have been compiled 
kathryn bowser, director of the fivf festival 
bureau. listings do not constitute an 
endorsement. since some details change 
faster than we do, we recommend that you 
contact the festival for further information 
before sending prints or tapes. in order to 
improve our reliability and make this column 
more beneficial to independents, we encour- 
age all film- and videomakers to contact fivf 
festival bureau with their personal festivals 
experiences, positive and negative. 

Domestic 

asian american international 

FILM FESTIVAL, July, NY. Sponsored by 
Asian CineVision, noncompetitive fest, found- 
ed in 1978, is country's oldest showcase for 
works by Asian & Asian American filmmak- 
ers. Films produced, directed 6k/or written by 
artists of Asian heritage eligible. Features & 
shorts in all cats accepted. Entries originally 
produced on film only; no video-to-film trans- 
fers. Asian-American Media Award to hon- 
ored filmmaker. New this yr. are market and 
children's programming sections. After NY 
run, fest begins 10-mo. tour of N. America. 
Previous editions showcased 40 films from US, 
Canada, Australia, UK, Singapore, Hong 
Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, China, Iran. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm; preview on cassette. 
Deadline: Mar. 1. Contact: Minne Hong, 
Asian American Int'l Film Festival, Asian 
CineVision, 32 E. Broadway, 4th fl., New 
York, NY 10002; (212) 925-8685; fax: 8157. 

ATHENS CENTER FOR FILM & VIDEO 
seeks films & videos for 21st Athens 
International Film & Video Fest., May 8-13, 
OH. Works produced after 1991, in any cate- 
gory that embody a high level of artistic inno- 
vation, sensitivity to form 6k challenging sub- 
ject matter will be considered. Works chosen 
for public screening will receive approximately 
$3/min. (w/ minimum of $50 & max. of $300). 
Entry fee: $20 & post-paid shipping (for return 
of video) . For entry forms & further info, con- 
tact: Athens Center for Film & Video, Box 
388, Athens, OH 45701; (614) 593-1330. 

CHARLOTTE FILM AND VIDEO FESTI- 
VAL, May, NC. Sponsored by Cablevision of 
Charlotte, fest is one of larger ind. film fests in 
Southeast. Last yr. it awarded $7,000 to ind. 
filmmakers. Jurors this yr. are Camille Billops 
& Tom Kalin. Screening locations incl. Spirit 
Sq. Ctr. for the Arts, Public Library of 
Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, Afro- 
American Cultural Center, Manor Theatre, 
Light Factory Photographic Arts Ctr. & Mint 
Museum of Art. Entry fee: $30, plus return 
postage. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2". 
Deadline: Feb. 1. Contact: Robert West, film 
curator, Charlotte Film & Video Festival, 
Mint Museum of Art, 2730 Randolph Rd., 
Charlotte, NC 28207; (704) 337-2000. 




Kathryn Bowser 



OLDEN EAGLE FILM AND VIDEO 
COMPETITION, February, DC. Non- 
theatrical films 6k videos (w/ exception of TV 
ads 6k spot announcements) eligible for com- 
petition. Golden Eagles awarded in following 
cats: amateur, agriculture, animation/chil- 
dren's, arts/crafts, business/industry, doc, edu- 
cational, entertainment, shorts, nature/envi- 
ronmental, history, interactive, medicine, 
oceanography, public health, safety/training, 
science, services, sports, travel. Entries must 
be US prods. CINE enters some award winners 
in foreign fests. Entries judged by 800 
film/video pros. Entrants should send appl. 
first 6k films/tapes when instructed. Entry fees: 
$45 6k up. Formats: 16mm, 3/4". Deadline: 
Feb. 1 (also Aug. 1). Contact: Awards 
Director, CINE, 1001 Connecticut Ave., Ste. 
638 NW, Washington, DC 20036; (202) 785- 
1136; fax: 4114. 

CONNECTICUT GAY AND LESBIAN 
FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL, June 3-11, 
CT. Sponsored by Alternatives, fest is held in 
Hartford 6k is now in 7th yr. Films/ videos that 
have gay or lesbian content or appeal are eligi- 
ble; fest aims to be "as diverse, multicultural, 
informative 6k entertaining as possible." No 
entry fee. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2"; 
preview on 1/2". Deadline: Feb. 28. Contact: 
Alternatives, c/o Tyler Polhemus, 51 Oxford 
St., Hartford, CT 06105; (203) 231-8558. 

HOMETOWN USA VIDEO FESTIVAL, 
July, CA. Sponsored by Alliance for 
Community Media, this competitive fest, 
founded in 1977, recognizes outstanding local 
programs produced for or by local organiza- 
tions 6k public, educational 6k gov't access 
operations. Awards: 4 special awards for over- 
all excellence in public access, local origina- 
tion, educational 6k gov't access; finalists, hon- 
orable mentions 6k winners in 37 cats, incl. 
performing arts; ethnic expression; entertain- 
ment; sports; by 6k for youth; live; municipal; 
religious; educational; instructional/training; 
informational; innovative; int'l; by 6k for 
seniors; PSA; event/public awareness; video 
art; music video; local news; magazine format; 
original teleplay. 1994 awards ceremony to be 
held in Honolulu at University of Hawaii. 
Entries must be produced in previous yr. Fest 
annually receives 2,000 entries. Deadline: 
Mar. 4- Contact: Randy Van Dalsen, Home- 
town USA Video Festival, The Buske Group, 
2015 J St., Ste. 28, Sacramento, CA 95814; 
(916) 441-6277; fax: 7670. 

HUMBOLDT INTERNATIONAL FILM 
FESTIVAL, Apr. 11-16, CA. Oldest student- 
run film fest in the country (estab. in 1967), 
Humboldt provides showcase for student 6k 
ind. filmmakers. Films selected by student pre- 
screening committee 6k judged by panel of 
professional filmmakers. Fest selections 
screened at oldest operating feature-film house 
in country, Minor Theatre. All genres accept- 
ed; entries must be under 60 min. 6k complet- 
ed in last 3 yrs. Entry fee: $30. Formats: 
16mm, S-8. Deadline (film entries): Mar. 11; 
(video, for preview only): Feb. 25. Contact: 



Humboldt Int'l Film Festival, Theater Arts 
Dept, Humboldt State Univ., Areata, CA 
95521; (707) 826-4113; fax: 5494. 

JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM VIDEO 
COMPETITION, April, CA. 1st annual 
Jewish video competition for innovative use of 
video in socially conscious Jewish themes. 
Entries must be on VHS from video original 
only. Deadline: Feb. 21 (for SASE for entry); 
Mar. 21 (videos to arrive). Contact: Bill 
Chayes, Video Competition, Judah L. Magnes 
Museum, 2911 Russell St., Berkeley, CA 
94705; (510) 549-6952. 

LOS ANGELES ASIAN PACIFIC FILM 
AND VIDEO FESTIVAL, May, CA. Works 
by 6k/or about Asian Pacific 6k Asian Pacific 
American people, culture, history 6k experi- 
ences currently sought for 9th edition of this 
fest, cosponsored by Visual Communications 
6k UCLA Film 6k Television Archive. 
Premiere showcase of works by Asian Pacific 
6k Asian Pacific American filmmakers 6k video 
artists for southern CA audiences. Features, 
shorts, dramatic/narrative, documentary, 
experimental 6k animated works accepted. 
Entry fee: $5 (for return of preview cassette). 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm, super 8mm, 3/4"; pre- 
view on 1/2". Deadline: Jan. 31. Contact: 
Festival Co-coordinator, Los Angeles Asian 
Pacific Film 6k Video Festival, Visual Com- 
munications, 263 So. Los Angeles St., Ste. 
307, Los Angeles, CA 90012; (213) 680-4462. 

MONITOR AWARDS, July 16, CA. 
Sponsored by Int'l Teleproduction Society, an 
int'l trade association, competition honors 
excellence in electronic prod. 6k postprod. 
Cats 6k craft areas incl.: entertainment series; 
entertainment specials; music video; nat'l 
commercials; local commercials; promotions; 
children's programming; sports; docs; short 
subjects; show reels; corporate communica- 
tion; opens; closes; titles; transitions; logos; 
IDs; developmental computer animation. 
Awards: best achievement honors to produc- 
ers, directors, editors, etc. in each cat. Awards 
ceremony to be held in Washington, DC in 
July. Entries produced or postproduced 
between Jan. 6k Dec. of preceding yr. Entries 
originating on film must be postproduced elec- 
tronically. Entry fees: $120-160. Format: 3/4". 
Deadline: Jan. 15 (call 1st; entry date may be 
extended). Contact: Cece Lazarescu, Int'l 
Monitor Awards, 350 5th Ave., Ste. 2400, 
New York, NY 10118; (212) 629-3266; fax: 
(212)629-3265. 

NEWARK BLACK FILM FESTIVAL, July, 
NJ. Celebrating 20th anniversary, 6-wk. sum- 
mer fest of films by black filmmakers showcas- 
es int'l black culture. Filmmakers, scholars, 
historians 6k other guests discuss films w/ audi- 
ences, who are admitted free to all screenings. 
All genres accepted. Program also features spe- 
cial films for children. Cosponsored by Newark 
Museum, Newark Public Library, Newark 
Symphony Hall, Rutgers-Newark 6k NJ Inst, of 
Technology. Entry fee: $25. Formats: 16mm, 
1/2". Deadline: Mar. 1. Contact: Jane 



40 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 40 



Rappaport, Newark Black Film Festival, 
Newark Museum, 49 Washington St., Box 
540, Newark, NJ 07101; (201) 596-6550; fax: 
(201) 642-0459. 

NORTH AMERICAN OUTDOOR FILM & 
VIDEO AWARDS, March, PA. Competition 
for subject matter covering any aspect of out- 
door recreation, wildlife, ecology, soil/water 
conservation, forestry, etc., sponsored by 
Outdoor Writers Association of America. 
Cats: conservation/natural history; recre- 
ation/promotion. Winners in conservation 
/natural history cat. shown at N. American 
Wildlife & Natural Resources Conference in 
March. Entry fee: $125. Formats: 16mm, 1/2". 
Deadline: Jan. 21. Contact: Bob Dennie, com- 
mittee chair, c/o Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife & 
Fisheries, 2000 Quail Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 
70898 or contact OWAA HQ, 2017 Cato 
Ave., Ste. 101, State College, PA 16801-2768; 
(814)234-1011. 

QUEER ARTICULATIONS: 4th PRINCE- 
TON LESBIAN, GAY & BISEXUAL FILM 
FESTIVAL, April, NJ. Looking for narrative, 
experimental, PSAs, music videos, animation, 
doc. Copies should be 1/2" VHS. Include 
description, clips & still. SASE required for 
return of copies. No fee. Small honorarium for 
accepted films. Call or write for appl. & more 
info. Contact: Karen Krahulik, fest director, 
Princeton LGB Film Festival, 306 Aaron Burr 
Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544; (609) 258-4522. 

SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY VISUAL 
ARTISTS FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL, 
April, CA. Sponsored by Associated Students 
Program Board at San Jose State, fest accepts 
entries in all genres. Formats: 16mm. 
Deadline: Jan. 31. Contact: James Moore, 
SJSU/ASPB Film Festival, Student Union Rm. 
350, San Jose, CA 95192-0132; (408) 924- 
6264. 

SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTI- 
VAL, May 20-June 11, WA. To celebrate 
20th anniversary, fest, one of largest noncom- 
petitive events in Northwest, is planning a 
number of special festivities. Opening- & clos- 
ing-night ceremonies will be held at Fifth 
Avenue Theatre; Best of Fest program will be 
held on June 12. Features (over 60 min.) & 
shorts (under 20 min.) accepted. Each yr. 
about 140 films from over 45 countries 
screened. Program incl. US & world premieres 
& special events. Entry fee: $25. Formats: 
35mm, 16mm. Deadline: Mar. 15. Contact: 
Darry Macdonald, Seattle Int'l Film Festival, 
Egyptian Theater, 801 E. Pine St., Seattle, 
WA 98122; (206) 324-9996; fax: 9998. 

SLICE OF LIFE FILM AND VIDEO SHOW- 
CASE, July 15-16, PA. 12th annual fest fea- 
tures competitively chosen observational doc 
films & videos "which depict the special 
moments of everyday life — those moments of 
truth & beauty that would otherwise go unrec- 
ognized." Narrative works & works longer 
than 30 min. not accepted. Winning produc- 
ers will be brought to fest, receive cash prize &. 
participate in "Meet the Artists" public recep- 
tion & professionals' conference. Fest is part of 
annual Central PA Festival of the Arts, which 




For more information, call Don Blauvelt at (212) 390-0225 



Technicolor 

Hollywood ■ London ■ Rome ■ New York 




EAST COAST DIVISION 



THE INDEPENDENT FILMMAKER 



Complete Lab Services-35mm / < 16nnnn Dailies 
All Sound and Video Needs 



321 WEST 44TH STREET, NEW YORK 
NEW YORK 10036 (212) 582-7310-13 
l -800-882-tech Fax: (212) 265-9089 



41 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 41 



brings 250,000 to area. Entry fee: $25. 
Formats: 16mm, 3/4", preview on 1/2". 
Deadline: Apr. 1. Contact: Sedgwick Heskett, 
director, Slice of Life Film & Video Showcase, 
Documentary Resource Center, 106 Boalsburg 
Pike, PO Box 909, Lemont, PA 16851; (814) 
234-1945; fax: 0939. 

USA FILM FESTIVAL, Apr. 21-28, TX. Fest 
celebrates excellence in film & video arts w/ 
major film showcase (now in 24th yr.) as well 
as national short film 6k video competition 
(now in 16th yr.). Fest has annually presented 
world, national, or regional premieres of hun- 
dreds of feature films 6k short works to audi- 
ences of 16,000. Awards for shorts competi- 
tion announced during fest; competition is 
open to submissions by all film- 6k videomak- 
ers in US. Entries should be under 60 min. 6k 
compete for cash prizes up to $1,000 in cats 
incl. dramatic, nonfiction, animation, experi- 
mental, music video/film, advertising 6k pro- 
motion. Family Award honors excellence in 
work intended for general audiences, Student 
Award goes to exceptional work by registered 
student 6k Texas Award goes to current TX 
residents. Deadlines: Mar. 1 (fest); Feb. 28 
(shorts competition). Entry fee: $40. Contact: 
USA Film Festival, 2917 Swiss Ave., Dallas, 
TX 75204; (214) 821-6300; fax: 6364. 

VIDEO SHORTS COMPETITION, March, 
WA. Nat'l competition of video artworks, in 
13th annual round. General cat 6k special cat 
for video by children 12 6k under. Entries must 
be under 6 min. 10 entries chosen winners in 
general cat, w/ top 3 receiving $100 6k rest 
$50. Two entries selected in special cat, w/ 
same awards. Winning works mastered onto 1" 
tape. Entry fee: $20. Deadline: Feb. 1. 
Contact: Video Shorts, Box 20369, Seattle, 
WA 98102; (206) 325-8449. 

Foreign 

BANFF TELEVISION FESTIVAL, June 5-11, 
Canada. Fest incl. int'l competition, which 
awards Rockies, conference for TV profession- 
als 6k informal coproduction marketplace. 
Cats: TV features, limited series, continuing 
series, short dramas, TV comedies, social 6k 
political docs, popular science programs, arts 
docs, performance specials, children's pro- 
grams. Entries for competition must be made- 
for-TV (films in theatrical release ineligible). 
Entries originally in English or French must 
have TV premiere after March of preceding yr. 
Producers of programs judged best in each cat 
receive Rockies sculptures. Grand Prize award- 
ed to film or program judged Best of Fest. Jury 
may also make 2 special awards for outstand- 
ing achievements. Special on-demand screen- 
ing facilities for all programs, in or out of com- 
petition. Contact: Jerry Ezekiel, Banff 
Television Festival, 204 Caribou St. #306, 
Box 1020, Banff, Alberta, Canada TOL OCO; 
(403) 762-3060; fax: 5357. 

CANNES INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTI- 
VAL, May 12-23, France. 47th yr of largest 6k 
most well-known int'l fest, attended by over 
35,000 guests, incl. stars, directors, distribu- 
tors, buyers 6k journalists. Intensive round- 



the-clock screenings, parties, ceremonies, press 
conferences 6k one of world's major film mar- 
kets. Screening or award at Cannes provides 
fame 6k prestige. Selection committee, 
appointed by Administration Board, chooses 
entries for Official Competition (about 20 
films) 6k for Un Certain Regard section. Films 
must be made w/in prior 12 months, released 
only in country of origin 6k not entered in 
other film fests. Official component consists of 
3 sections: In Competition, features 6k shorts 
competition for major fest awards (Palme 
d'Or, Special Jury Prize, Best Director 
/Actress/Actor/Jury Prize); Special Out-of- 
Competition, features ineligible for competi- 
tion (e.g., films by previous winners of Palme 
d'Or); Un Certain Regard (noncompetitive), 
for films of int'l quality which do not qualify 
for Competition, films by new directors, etc. 
Parallel sections incl. Quinzaine des 
Realisateurs (Directors Fortnight), main side- 
bar for new talent, sponsored by Assoc, of 
French Film Directors; La Semaine de la 
Critique (Int'l Critics Week), selection of 1st 
or 2nd features 6k docs chosen by members of 
French Film Critics Union (selections must be 
completed w/in 12 mos. prior to fest) 6k 
Perspectives on French Cinema. Market, 
administered separately, screens films in main 
venue 6k local theater. Top prizes incl. Official 
Competition's Palme d'Or (feature 6k short) 6k 
Camera d'Or (best 1st film in any section). For 
info 6k press accreditation from US (deadline: 
Mar. 31), contact: Catherine Verret, French 
Film Office, 745 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 
10151; (212) 832-8860, fax: (212) 755-0629. 
Official Sections: Festival International du 
Film (deadline Mar. 1), 71, rue du Faubourg 
St. Honore, 75008 Paris, France; tel: 33 1 42 
66 92 20; fax: 33 1 42 66 68 85, telex: FESTI- 
FI 285 765 F. Quinzaine des Realisateurs , 
Societe des Realisateurs de Films, 215 
Faubourg St. Honore, 75008 Paris, France; tel: 
33 1 45 61 01 66, fax: 1 40 74 07 96. Semaine 
International de la Critique (deadline Mar. 
30), 73, Ave. de Lourmel, 75015 Paris, France; 
tel: 33 1 45 75 68 27. Cannes Film Market, 
attn: Marcel Lathiere, Michel P. Bonnet, 71 
rue du Faubourg St. Honore, 75008 Pans, 
France; tel: 1 42 66 92 20; fax: 1 42 66 68 85; 
telex: FESTIFI 285 765 F. 

DRESDEN FILM FESTIVAL, Apr. 13-17, 
Germany. The 6th annual edition of this fest 
will be presented w/total of 8 competitive, ani- 
mated 6k independent programs, along w/5 
additional programs, to be held in 3 theatres 
and 2 workshop cinemas. Jury will pick 3 
award winners in competition program, to be 
based upon film's "independent nature". 
Awards: 1st prize: 4.000DM; 2nd prize: 
2,000DM; 3rd prize: 1,000DM. Audience also 
selects favorite film for public prize. 
Competition entries must be a maximum of 30 
mins, completed since 1992. Animated film 
competition awards 3 prizes for "most techni- 
cally 6k artistically demanding film contribu- 
tions in cats of children's films; films up to 5 
mins., films 5-15 mins. Animation awards: 1st 
prize: 10,000DM, 2nd prize: 5,000DM; 3rd 
prize: 3,000, 6k 2 diplomas each to receive 
1,500DM. Entries in this competition must be 
a maximum of 15 mins, completed since 1992. 



Fest will also incl a retrospective of American 
independent short films from the 70s, 80s 6k 
90s, a program of Russian animated films, 6k a 
film ball. Deadline: Feb. 18. Contact: Filmfest 
Dresden, c/o Filminitiative Dresden, 
Rahnitzgasse 22, D-01907 Dresden, Germany; 
tel: 49 351 570537; fax: 49 351 51897. 

GOLDEN ROSE OF MONTREUX, Apr. 21- 
26, Switzerland. Organized by Swiss 
Broadcasting Corporation 6k City of Mon- 
treux, 34th annual competition for light-enter- 
tainment television programs. Broadcasters 6k 
ind. producers may compete against each 
other in the cats of humor, music 6k general 
light entertainment, w/ each cat having its 
own int'l jury. Organizers have also 
announced series of sessions dealing w/ int'l 
aspects of latest developments in interactive 
television. Formats: 3/4". Deadline: Mar. 1. 
Contact: John Nathan, N. American represen- 
tative, Rose d'Or Montreux, 488 Madison 
Ave., Ste. 1710, New York, NY 10022; (212) 
223-0044. 

HIROSHIMA INTERNATIONAL ANIMA- 
TION FESTIVAL, Aug. 25-29, Japan. 5th 
annual fest for animated works, administered 
under patronage of ASIFA, w/ theme "Love 6k 
Peace." Entries should be "frame by frame," 
incl. computer- graphics animation, under 30 
min. 6k completed after Apr. 1, 1992. Cats: 
Promotional works, debut works, works for 
children, works for educational purposes, 
under 5 min., 5-15 min.; 15-30 min. Awards: 
Grand Prize ¥1,000,000; Hiroshima Prize 
¥1,000,000; Debut Prize ¥500,000; 1st 6k 2nd 
place prize for best entries in each cat. 
Hiroshima City will be hosting 12th Asian 
Games during test, so it hopes to place empha- 
sis on Asian animation for special program. No 
entry fee. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4". 
Deadline (entry forms): Mar. 21; (films/tapes: 
Apr. 21). Contact: Sayoko Kinoshita, fest 
director, Hiroshima Festival Office, 4-17, 
Kako-machi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima 730, Japan; 
tel: 81 82 245-0245; fax: 81 82 245-0246. 

MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM 
FESTIVAL, June, Australia. Now in 43rd yr., 
FIAPF 6k Int'l Short Film Conference-recog- 
nized fest is one of Australia's 2 largest 6k its 
oldest. Director programs eclectic mix of ind. 
work. Int'l short film competition (in 32nd yr.) 
important part of fest. Kino Awards for Short 
Film (sponsored by Kino Cinemas) incl. Grand 
Prix ($5,000) 6k awards of $1,500 each to best 
Australian film, experimental, animated, doc, 
fiction 6k student. Other awards are 
ANZAAS-CIRO for outstanding film/video 
dealing w/ science-related subject ($1,500) 6k 
AFI Distribution Prize for film/video showing 
particular distribution potential. Fest seeks 
entries for young people's film fest 6k science 
film fest 6k program focusing on architecture 
6k design. Fest is useful window to Australian 
theatrical 6k nontheatrical outlets, educational 
distributors 6k Australian networks. Feature- 
length narrative 6k doc films over 60 min. con- 
sidered; work must have been completed on 
35mm 6k 16mm (video work considered at dis- 
cretion of fest director) since Jan. 1993 6k not 
screened in Australia. Short-film competition 



42 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 42 



open to films up to 60 min., on 35mm & 
16mm (S-8 6k video accepted out of competi- 
tion), completed since Jan. 1993 & not 
screened in Australia. Entry fee: $15 (int'l 
money order). Deadline: Apr. 1 (features); 
Mar. 18 (shorts). Contact: Tait Brady, fest 
director, Melbourne Int'l Film Festival, 207 
Johnston St., PO Box 296, Fitzroy 3065, 
Victoria, Australia; tel: 61 3 417-2011; fax: 61 
3 417 3804. 

SHORT CIRCUIT FILM FESTIVAL, 
October, France. Organized by Elendil 
Productions, this event promotes young 
American cinema in Europe along w/ short 
films by now-famous American directors. 
Accepted are short films by emerging & estab- 
lished directors from 30 sees, to 30 mins., 
made no earlier than 1992; French premieres 
only. Formats: 35mm, 16mm; preview on VHS 
only. Deadline: Mar. 31. Contact: Elendil 
Productions, 853 Broadway, Ste. 1118, New 
York, NY 10003; (212) 473-c 




SILENCES ELLES TOURNENT, Apr. 12-17, 
Canada. Newly reconstituted as a biennial fest 
after 3 yrs, this fest's objectives are the presen- 
tation & promotion of films & videos directed 
by one or several women (or by a woman-man 
team) "so that their work may be discovered 
or rediscovered by the public." Awards: jury 
prizes (doc feature & short, video, fiction fea- 
ture film, fiction short film, first work); public 
prizes in all cats. Film & video noncompetitive 
cats as well as special events (tribute to 
Quebec woman producer, retro & workshops 
on production process) round out fest. Entries 
must be completed after Jan. 1, 1992. Entry 
fee: $35CAN (features), $25CAN (shorts/ 
videos). Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2", 
Betacam. Deadline: Jan. 10. Contact: Eve 
Langevin, programming assistant, Festival 
Silence Elles Tournent, 555, Blvd. Rene- 
Levesque Ouest, bur. 1414, Montreal, 
Quebec, H2Z 1B1, Canada; (514) 395-6012; 
fax: (514) 395-6045. 



FIVF THANKS 

The Foundation for Independent Video and 
Film (FIVF), the foundation affiliate of the 
Association for Independent Video and 
Filmmakers (AIVF), supports a variety of 
programs and services for the independent 
producer community, including publication 
of The Independent, maintenance of the 
Festival Bureau, seminars and workshops, 
and an information clearinghouse. None of 
this work would be possible without the 
generous support of the following agencies, 
foundations, and organizations: The New 
York State Council on the Arts; the National 
Endowment for the Arts; the John D. and 
Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; the 
Rockefeller Foundation; and the Con- 
solidated Edison Company of New York. 



Intensive. Hands-on 
Immersion Programs 



• Film Production 

• 3D Computer (tarnation 

• Classical Animation 

• Electronic Post-production 

• multimedia 

• Acting for Film 6 Television 

Vancouver 
Film School 

For detailed information call: 

1800-661-4101 



THINK 




THE 

19 94 

C HA R LOT T E 

FILM & VIDEO 

FES T I VA L 




STOCK FOOTAGE 



The most extensive collection of 
original cinematography. Production 
ready images available in all formats 
ajid all subjects., Ask us about our 
CD-ROM. FREE CATALOG 



eNERGY PRODUCTIONS 

12700 Ventura Blvd. 

Studio City, California 91604 

1-800 IMAGERY or 818 508-1444 

Fax 818508-1293 




ENTRY DEADLINE: February /, 1994 
FESTIVAL: May 5 - 15 
CASH AWARDS: $5,000 + 

ENTRY FORMS: Mint Museum of Art 
Robert West 
2730 Randolph Road 
Charlotte NC 28207 
704/337-2000 
FAX 704/337-2101 




43 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 43 



Gassmeels 



each entry in the classifieds column has a 
250-character limit & costs $25 per issue. ads 
exceeding this length will be edited. payment 
must be made at the time of submission, 
anyone wishing to run a classified more than 
once must pay for each insertion & indicate 
the number of insertions on the submitted 
copy. each classified must be typed, 
double-spaced & worded exactly as it should 
appear. deadlines are the 1st of each month, 
two months prior to the cover date (e.g. 
february 1 for the april issue). make check or 
money order— no cash, please— payable to 
fivf, 625 broadway, 9th fl, ny, ny 10012. 

Buy • Rent • Sell 

ARRI 16-S PACKAGE: 10, 25, 75 Schneid- 
ers, 12-120 ang w/ motor/remote, 3-400 mags 
w/ motor, 24 fps/vari-speed motors, AC sync 
motor $3,500. Nikon R-10 S8, dissolves, vari- 
shutter, ex. macro $650. Beaulieu 5008S S8, 
6-80/1.4 ang, 4 batts $700. Bob (401) 421- 
6285. 

BETAMAX HI-FI editing system, low hours 
(2 GCS-10 decks & a RM E50 controller) for 
sale or trade. Looking for industrial VHS 
decks, small (20-50w) stereo amp & speakers, 
25" color monitor w/ sound. Call Alfredo at 
EVC (212) 254-2848. 

EXPERT IN CAMERA & lens repair. Work 
on Arriflex, Cinema Products, Eclair, Aaton. 
Call Ralph (718) 284-0223. 

FOR SALE: Tektronix 1740 combo 
Waveform/Vectorscope monitor. Excellent 
condition $2,500. Sony VO-6800 3/4" portable 
deck w/ CMA-8 power supply & portabrace 
case. Excellent condition $1,100. Tom (212) 
279-7003. 

FOR SALE: SR package w/ 3 mags, Zeiss 10- 
100, Zeiss 8mm, 300mm Kilfit, Kilfit 
400/600mm combi, Ang. 12-120 w/ Chroizel, 
J-4, 5 on-brd batts, all recelled, Sachtler 
Studio II w/ standards, babies, cases, bridge 
plate $27,000. Choice package. (614) 268- 
4690. 

FOR SALE: Bolex EL package, magazine, 
torque motor, clamp-on batt, 3 chargers, pistol 
grip, 12-120 Angenieux, Switar 10, 16, 
Century 3.5, Minolta Auto Meter, C-mount 
adapter. Excellent condition $4,000. Call Nell 
(212) 242-7760, evenings. 

NEW EQUIPMENT: Pricing on Lowell Light, 
AKG, A-T, Bogen, Fostex Systems, 
Sennheiser, Sony TCD5 PROII. Call J. 
Carpenter (CINE) at (814) 333-8672. 

OXBERRY 35MM & 16MM RENTALS in 
Rochester, NY, animation studio. Low com- 
mercial rates for ind. film projects. Fred 
Armstrong or Skip Battaglia (716) 244-6550. 



Distribution 

AFFABLE DISTRIBUTOR & AIVF member 
seeks quality ind. prods for exclusive world- 
wide distribution. If program is accepted, we 
will send a contract in 7 days. Send VHS w/ 
SASE to Chip Taylor Communications, 15 
Spollett Dr., Derry, NH 03038. 

ALTERNATIVE FILMWORKS, experimen- 
tal-film distributor, seeks ind. film/video 
works, any length. No mainstream films. Send 
video to: Alternative Filmworks, Dept. IC, 259 
Oakwood Ave., State College, PA 16803- 
1698; (814) 867-1528; fax: 9488. 

AQUARIUS PRODUCTIONS, INC. seeks 
videos on learning disabilities, special ed., 
holistic medicine & coping w/ chronic dis- 
eases, among other topics. Call/send videos for 
preview. Contact: Leslie Kussman, Aquarius, 
35 Main St., Wayland, MA 01778; (508) 651- 
2963. 

SEEKING NEW WORKS for educational & 
health-care markets. Fanlight Productions dis- 
tributes films/videos in areas of health, sociolo- 
gy, psychology, etc. Karen McMillen, Fanlight 
Productions, 47 Halifax St., Boston, MA 
02130; (617)937-4113. 

SEEKING NEW WORKS for educational 
markets. Educational Productions distributes 
videos on early childhood education, special 
ed. & parent ed. Contact: Linda Freedman, 
Educational Prods, 7412 SW Beaverton, 
Hillsdale Hwy., Portland, OR 97225; (800) 
950-4949. 

Freelancers 

16MM PROD. PACKAGE w/ cinematogra- 
pher from $150/day. Crystal-sync camera w/ 
fluid head, Nagra, mikes, Mole/Lowel lights, 
dolly/track, etc. Full 16mm post avail.: editing, 
sound transfer 1/4" to 16 mag (.055/ft). Sound 
mix only $70/hr! Tom (201) 933-6698. 

AWARD-WINNING CAMERAMAN w/ 
16mm Aaton, Betacam SP & Steadicam seeks 
challenging projects. Partial client list: ABC 
Sports, Atlantic Records, IBM, Pitney Bowes, 
Wilderness Society. Complete crews avail. 
Reasonable rates. Call Mike Carmine at (718) 
224-3355. 

BETACAM SP cameraman w/ Sony 3-Chip 
BVP-70/BVV-5SP, avail, for your project. Low 
rates. Equipment package, DP kit, Sennheiser 
mics, 5-passenger van. Audio Engineer avail. 
3/4" Sony off-line editing system. Thomas 
(212) 279-7003. 

BETACAM SP LOCATION PKG w/ techni- 
cian: $400/day. Incl. lights, mics & Sachler tri- 
pod. Same but non-SP Beta, 3/4" or Hi8: $300. 
Window dubs, Betacam, Hi8, VHS & 3/4" also 
avail. Electronic Visions (212) 691-0375. 



CAMERA OPERATOR/DIRECTOR OF 
PHOTOGRAPHY w/ S-16 & Betacam SP 
gear seeking relationship w/ experienced direc- 
tor for dramatic & spot work. Don Platon 
(703) 642-3915. 

CAMERAMAN: award winning, sensitive, 
efficient. 10 yrs experience in docs 6k industri- 
als, overseas projects. W/ or w/out Sony BVW- 
300A Beta SP package (highest resolution & 
sensitivity avail.). Rates tailored to project & 
budget. Scott (212) 721-3668. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER looking for interest- 
ing projects. Credits incl.: Metropolitan, The 
Night We Never Met 6k Barcelona. John 
Thomas (201) 783-7360. 

C4, BBC AWARD- WINNING doc directors, 
camera team, w/ Aaton package; verite, arts, 
plus remote films in Latin America, 
Himalayas, Asia, Arctic, Europe; Americans 
based in Britain, speak Spanish; will work in 
video. Tel/fax: 011-44-494-675842. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Exper- 
ienced cameraman avail, for ind. projects. 
35mm & 16mm pkgs. Contact: David Temple 
(212) 924-7870. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ 
awards, talent & experience. Credits incl. fea- 
tures, commercials, industrials, docs, shorts & 
music videos. Owner of Aaton 16mm/super 16 
package. 35mm package also avail. Call for my 
reel. Bob (718) 855-7731. 

DP/STEADICAM ARTIST w/ 16SR, 35BL, 
superspeed lenses, 3 -chip camera & BVU 150 
deck sound equip., lighting, van. Passport. 
Certified Scuba diver, French, a little Spanish. 
Features, commercials, music videos. Call 
Mick (212) 929-7728. 

ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY, frequent 
contributor to "Legal Brief column in The 
Independent 6k other magazines, offers legal ser- 
vices to film/video community on develop- 
ment thru distribution. Reasonable rates. 
Contact Robert L. Seigel, Esq. (212) 545- 
9085. 

ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY. Legal 
advice, contract negotiating 6k drafting for 
film producers, directors 6k screenwriters. 
Know your legal rights 6k protect your artistic 
property. Kenneth P. Olsen (212) 941-6822. 

EXPERIENCED DIRECTOR OF PHOTOG- 
RAPHY w/ Arri 16 SR package 6k Mole Rich- 
ardson lighting package. Seeks interesting film 
projects in feature or short-subject form. Very 
reasonable rates for new directors 6k screen- 
writers. (212) 737-6815; fax: 423-1125. 

EXPERIENCED SENIOR SCRIPT CONSUL- 
TANT can doctor any script, market-ready for 
Hollywood. Also can edit, supervise, fix prob- 
lem video programs. Producer/writer/editor for 



44 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 44 



features, network & cable & published book 
author on films. (617) 354-7055. 

EXPERIENCED RESEARCHER avail, for 
film, fact, copyright & photo searches at 
Library of Congress & other Washington D.C. 
archives. Resonable rates. Flexible for good 
causes. Katie (202) 483-7233. 

GROW YOUR BUSINESS: Business Strategy 
Seminar offers 10-wk. strategy & support 
groups for entrepreneurs. Small-business own- 
ers challenge you to focus your energy & 
expand your horizons. Immediate results. For 
info, call Katherine Crowley (212) 481-7075. 

MUSIC SUPERVISOR/soundtrack coordina- 
tor, clearances/licensing. Access to signed/ 
unsigned artists, producers, composers, record 
labels, music publishers & libraries. Track 
music budget, source cue schedule, LP sales &. 
marketing support. Call Karen Glover (718) 
522-0431. 

SCORE! Your film that is. Resourceful, inex- 
pensive professional composer. Features, 
shorts, docs, commercials, industrials, corpo- 
rate pieces done w/ style & finesse. Call Jack 
for appointment or demo tape at (212) 995- 
0760. 

STEADICAM for film 6k video. Special rates 
for inds. Call Sergei Franklin (212) 228-4254. 

TOP-CREDIT DIRECTOR OF PHOTOG- 
RAPHY, West Coast: operator on major 
motion pictures/DP on lower-budget 6k hip 
projects. Self-owned 16mm 6k Betacam SP 
prod, packages; 35mm avail. Award winner, 
visionary. Reasonable. Call John (213) 656- 
3550. 

Preproduction 

CAST, crew 6k composer needed for no-bud- 
get film. Send work sample on VHS to: "RJ," 
3000 NW Williams Way, Redmond, OR 
97756; (503) 923-9625. 

COPRODUCER/CODIRECTOR sought to 
develop low-budget doc films on art 6k cultural 
subjects. (No salary yet.) Prefer bilingual 
French or Russian speaker. Contact Katherine 
at (212) 724-2175. 

FEATURE-LENGTH SCREENPLAYS want- 
ed by award-winning ind. producer/director. 
Send treatment 6k/or screenplay to John E. 
Taylor, Box 750513, New Orleans, LA 70115. 
Send WGA-registered works only. 

FLAN DE COCO FILMS, young, energetic 
ind. prod, company, is looking for undiscov- 
ered talent to collaborate w/ on development 
of feature films. We accept submissions in any 
form (screenplays, plays, short stories) . Flan de 
Coco Films, Box 93032, Los Angeles, CA 
90093. 

FILM 6k TV JOBS. National listings. 
Professional, technical 6k prod. Published 
2x/mo. 6 issues/$35, 12/$60, 22/$95. Send 
check/m.o.: Entertainment Employment 




3^° A R B 




for Entries 

1 6 mm independent and 
experimental films - all genre: 
documentary, animation, narrative, 
and experimental 

JU» G E S 

Jules Engel Director of the 
Experimental Animation 
Program at Cal Arts. 

Barbara Sternberg Canadian 
visual artist and experimental 
filmmaker 

Zack Stiglicz Experimental 
filmmaker and instructor of film 
production at the School of the 
Art Institute of Chicago 

Entry Fees 

For each film: 
$30 US entries 

$35 foreign entries 

Call or write for 
brochure/entry form: 
Ann Arbor Film Festival 
PO Box 8232 
Ann Arbor, Ml 48107 
313/995-5356 





DAVID ROYLE 
PRODUCTIONS 

OFF-LINE 
EDITING 

VHS, 3/4" & AVID 



«S5SS* 



GREAT PRICES 



9 4 7-8433 

330 W. 42nd St. 
NY..N.Y. 10036 



SOHO 



AVI D 



INEXPENSIVE 
TOP-OF-THE-LINE 
AVID SUITE 

FOR RENT 



A PLEASANT & PRIVATE 

WORK ENVIRONMENT 
IN THE MIDDLE OF SOHO 



O 



CALL (212) 966 0625 



SOoHO 




45 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 45 



CREATIVE SOLUTIONS.. 

fort youR post pRoblEMs!! 



WE OFFER 



Professional Super 16, 16 & 55 mm 
Negative Cutting 



Professional Video Matchback to 
the Avid Media Composer 

Post Production Workshops/Seminars 



Editinc 16 or 55 mm or transfer to 

tape and edit on the Avid Media Composer 

award-wlnninc creative editing 



/i/cy^/iTII/C 25 RivERviEw Terrace 
NtUAIIVt SpRiNqfiEld, MA 01 108 

MATCHERS i -800- ? 70-cuts 

igBf Incorporated (415) 756-2177 

Professional 16/35mm Motion Picture Editing and Conforming 





HOT SHOTS 

The stock footage company whose stock footage doesn't look like stock footage 



ARCHIVAL 
(212) 799-9100 



CONTEMPORARY 
FAX: (212) 799-9258 



Journal, 7095 Hollywood Blvd. #815, 
Hollywood, CA 90028; (213) 969-8500. 

I WANT SCRIPTS or ideas for no-budget 
prods. Scripts needed for narrative or non-nar- 
rative shorts, underground, experimental, 
cable access. Also looking to form nat'l net- 
work of film/video crews. Call Laura (817) 
763-8406. 

INDEPENDENT FILMMAKER seeking peo- 
ple who can help him in his venture prod, of a 
low-budget feature film. Some pay. Need cam- 
eraman, soundperson, manager & actors. Call 
Sergei (504) 832-0064. 

NEED SCRIPT? Screenplays supplied w/ 
SASE for return. Leon Powell, 7611 Terry St., 
Columbia, SC 29209; (803) 776-1768. 

PRODUCTION COMPANY seeks scripts for 
docs of varied interests. Call (201) 659-5155. 

PROPOSAL DOCTOR will write/rewrite 
grant proposals & budgets & work w/ you to 
develop funding strategies. Track record writ- 
ing funded proposals for arts 6k humanities 
councils, foundations, individuals & business- 
es. Call Nicole Fauteux (412) 421-4789. 

SCREENPLAY DOCTOR & Movie Mechan- 
ic, professional story editors/postprod. special- 
ists, will analyze your screenplay or treatment 
6k evaluate your film-in-progress. Major studio 
6k ind. background. Reasonable rates. (212) 
219-9224. 

POSTPRODUCTION 

3/4" SONY OFF-LINE SYSTEM delivered to 
you 6k installed: 5850, 5800, RM 440, 2 moni- 
tors $500/wk., $l,600/mo. Delivery 6k installa- 
tion incl. Equipment clean 6k professionally 
maintained. Thomas (212) 279-7003. 

16MM CUTTING ROOMS: 8-plate 6k 6- 
plate fully equipped rooms, sound-transfer 
facilities, 24-hr. access. Downtown, near all 
subways 6k Canal St. Reasonable rates. (212) 
925-1500. 

16MM EDITING ROOM 6k office space for 
rent in suite of inds. Fully equipped w/ 6-plate 
Steenbeck 6k 24-hr. access. All windowed 6k 
new carpet. Located at W. 24th St. 6k 7th 
Ave. Reasonable rates. Call Jeff at Film 
Partners (212) 366-5101. 

BILL CRESTON MEDIA expanding to video 
editing, computer 6k photo service. Taking 
over for Adaptors, Inc. Low rates. VHS, 3/4", 
Interformat, S-8 film, SEG, Amiga, titling, 
sound. Grants/discounts avail. 727 6th Ave., 
NY, NY 10010; (212) 924-4893. 

BRODSKY 6k TREADWAY: S-8 6k regular 
8mm fUm-to-video masters, scene-by-scene to 
1" 6k Betacam. By appointment only. (508) 
948-7985. 

EDIT YOUR FILM or make your reel for less. 
Off-line video editing at 21st St. 6k 5th Ave. 
Well-maintained 3/4" 6k video edit system, CD 



46 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 46 



& cassette w/ mixer, T.C. generator, fax, 
phone, 24 hrs; $125/day, $575/week. Hourly 
rates. Red Barn Films: (212) 982-6900. 

MANHATTAN: E. 100's. Film/video arts stu- 
dio & prod. bldg. High ceiling, light, space 
from 1000 to 10,000 ft., $8-15 per ft. Parking. 
Greg (212) 289-0500. 

S-8MM film-to-video transfer. To 1", Beta, 
Hi8, 3/4", VHS. Slo-mo, freeze, Toaster EFX 
also. Standard 8, slides, 16mm. Broadcast 
quality. Low rates. Personal service. S-8 cam- 
era rental & music cinematography. 
Landyvision (914) 679-7046. 

TOTAL S-8 SOUND film services. All S-8 
prod., postprod., sync sound, mix, multitrack, 
single & double system sound editing, trans- 
fers, striping, stills, etc. Send SASE for rate 
sheet or call Bill Creston, 727 6th Ave., NY, 
NY 10010; (212) 924-4893. 

YOUR PLACE OR MINE? Beta SP Edit 
System w/ Sony 910 controller: $2,000/wk. 
Sony 3/4" deluxe off-line w/ Convergence 
Super90+: $500/wk. Studio in CT w/ guest 
room or delivery for fee. Sony BVW 50 Beta 
SP field deck $175/day. Editors avail. (203) 
227-8569. 



FIVF THANKS 

The Foundation for Independent Video 
and Film (FIVF), the foundation affili- 
ate of the Association of Independent 
Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), supports 
a variety of programs and services for 
the independent producer community, 
including publication of The 
Independent, maintenance of the 
Festival Bureau, seminars and work- 
shops, an information clearinghouse. 
None of this work would be possible 
without the generous support of the 
following individuals and businesses: 

Benefactors: 
Mr. Irwin W. Young 

Sponors: 

Ms. Jeanine Basinger, Mr. Daniel 
Edelman, Mr. Ribert Richter, Mr. 
George C. Stoney, AVID Technology, Inc. 

Business/Industry: 

Award Video-Film Dist., Sarasota, FL 

Delphis, Cortland, OH 

Thunder Productions, Los Angeles, CA 




Harmonic 

Ranch 



ESTABLISHED 



AUDIO FOR VIDEO 

• 

DIGITAL AUDIO 

WORKSTATIONS 

• 

AUTOMATED MIXES 

59 FRANKLIN ST. 
NEW YORK, N. Y. 10013 
212-966-3141 



jchnology in the 

service of creativity 




MMMslMim 




76th Street 212.879.9 
forkCify 10021 212.624; 

vN^/VV\rV^yVvy 




35mm Slides 

4x5's 

8 x 10's 

Flat Art 

Prints 

Books 

Objects 

If You ever put these on video, you're missing something 

special if you don't do it at Aerial Image. Our proprietary 

motion control system produces the finest moves on stills 

you'll find anywhere. 




AERIAL IMAGE VIDEO SERVICE 



137 West 19th Street, New York City, NY 10011 Phone (212) 229-1930 



47 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 47 



Emmy nominated 

Tom Borton 

Composer 



Extensive Music Library Available 



1-800-242-2413 



SMPTE Advanced Television and 
Electronic Imaging Conference 

February 3, 4, 5, 1 994 
Chicago Downtown Marriott, Chicago, Illinois 




"Unveiling New Technologies and Applications" 

•Compression: Expectations and Realities — Tutorial — Feb. 3 

•Acquisition and Conversion for Resolution Independence 

•Manipulation of High-Resolution Data 

•Advanced Transmission and Distribution Systems 

•High -Density Storage 

•Testing in the Digital Production/Post-Production Environment 



To receive more information, complete the form below and mail to: 
SMPTE Registration 

595 W. Hartsdale Ave., White Plains, NY 10607 
Tel: (914) 761-1100 Fax: (914) 761-3115 



Name 

Company 
Address _ 

City 

Country _ 



Title 

Tel: ( ) 
Fax:( ) 



State 



Postal Code 



Betacam SP Component On-Line Editing 

$165/hr 



Includes Editor and Character Generator 

Features: Sony BVE-910 edit controller, GVG-100CV Switcher, 
Slo-Motion, Color Corrector, Otari Vi", CD, Audio Cassette 



ALSO AVAILABLE 

Digital Effects: Component ADO-1 00 

With 3-D, Digimatte and Image innovator 

%" SP A/B Roll On-Line Editing 

HI-8 to Betacam SP Transfers 

With TBC (Dub out to Component Betacam) 

%" Off-Line Editing with List Management 



on track 



l/IDEO 



(212)645-2040 



^plAMARfc^ 




FOR EN" 



ATTENTION: FILM AND VIDEO 

PRODUCERS AND MULTIMEDIA 

DEVELOPERS 

GIVE YOUR WORK 
MAXIMUM VISIBILITY 

The National Educational 

MEDIA MARKET is a one-of-a-kind 

national showcase for producers 

and developers seeking 

distribution of new programs. 

The MEDIA MARKET links 

producers and developers 

with distributors and publishers 

who sell to institutional, broadcast 

and consumer markets worldwide. 

Eligibility: Films, videos, and 

multimedia programs. 

Works-in-progress are welcome. 



DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: 

April 8, 1994. 
Late submissions accepted until 
April 29, 1994 with a late fee. 

The MEDIA MARKET will take place 

May 18-20, 1994 

at the 

National Educational 

Film & Video Festival 

in Oakland, California. 



Application forms: 

NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL 

MEDIA MARKET 

655 Thirteenth Street 

Oakland, CA 94612-1220 

Telephone: 510.465.6885 

Fax: 510.465.2835 



yVoficies 



NOTICES ARE LISTED FREE OF CHARGE. AIVF MEM- 
BERS RECEIVE FIRST PRIORITY; OTHERS ARE 
INCLUDED AS SPACE PERMITS. THE INDEPENDENT 
RESERVES THE RIGHT TO EDIT FOR LENGTH. 
DEADLINES FOR NOTICES WILL BE RESPECTED. 
THESE ARE THE 1ST OF THE MONTH, TWO MONTHS 
PRIOR TO COVER DATE (E.G., FEBRUARY 1 FOR THE 
APRIL ISSUE: PLEASE NOTE NEW DEADLINE). SEND 
TO: INDEPENDENT NOTICES, FIVF, 625 BROADWAY, 
NY, NY 10012. 

Conferences • Seminars 

american federation of arts & 

MOMA present premiere circulating exhibi- 
tion on first 25 years of video art. 48 works 
from pioneering artists such as Laurie 
Anderson, Nam June Paik & William 
Wegman organized into 4 feature-length pro- 
grams covering: the nature of male/female 
roles; autobiographical impulse; abstracting 
possibilites of electronic image processing; 
fusion of video & performance art. Tour 
begins this spring in venue near you. For more 
info, call Dept. of Public Information, 
American Federation of Arts (212) 988-7700, 
ext. 29. 

AMERICAN MUSEUM OF THE MOVING 
IMAGE'S ongoing series "Moving Images 
Enter the Digital Age" resumes this spring on 
March 5 at 2 pm with "The Silicon Backlot: 
Inside the Digital Media Production 
Environments." Guests will include Bob 
Greenberg, CEO of R/GA Digital Studios & 
Chris Wedge of computer graphics animation 
company Blue Sky Productions. Plus, demo of 
"performance animation," which converts 
movement data from humans into movement 
that animates computer characters. AMMI, 
36-01 35th Ave, Astoria, NY 11106; for tick- 
ets: (718) 784-4520; for info on this and 
future panels: (718) 784-0077. 

SHOWBIZ EXPO WEST, set for June 11-13 
at L.A. Convention Center, will host 225 
exhibitors (including NBC Enterprises, 
Universal City Studio & Arriflex). Over 45 
industry-driven panels will cover film, corpo- 
rate video, technology & theater. If you wish 
to attend or exhibit, call Live Time, Inc. (213) 
668-1811. 

WOMEN IN LIMBO presents series of issue- 
oriented autobiographical programs wherein 
women artists use slides & other media to 
describe their lives. Audience invited to par- 
ticipate in discussions following the presenta- 
tions. Programs are Sundays, 6pm-8pm in the 
Knot Room, Knitting Factory, 47 E. Houston 
St. Admission is $3. For more info, call: 
Melissa Burch (212) 219-8551. 

Films • Tapes Wanted 

ALIVE TV now accepting submissions of new 
work for broadcast. Please watch program on 
PBS & submit work that seems appropriate. 
Contact: Neil Seiling, producer, for more info 



at (612) 2294358 or fax: 1283. 

BANANA CLUB, ind. prod, company special- 
izing in networking w/ Japanese investors, pro- 
ducers, promoters, distributors, recording 
labels, TV networks 6k other media industries, 
seeks new materials in cinema, video, music 6k 
performing arts. Deadline: Ongoing. Send 
treatment, description, samples, press kit, 
standard release form 6k $20 filing fee to: 
Banana Club, 41 Union Sq. West, Ste. 714, 
NY, NY 10003. 

BLACK ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION, 
seeks films/videos by black ind. makers, direc- 
tors, or producers for "Black Vision," portion 
of Screen Scene, weekly 1/2-hr. show that pre- 
views TV lineup 6k latest theatrical releases. 
Deadline: Ongoing. For more info., contact: 
Screen Scene, BET, 1899-9th St. NE, 
Washington, DC 20018; (202) 636-2400. 

BLACK VIDEO PERSPECTIVE, a new com- 
munity TV prod, in Atlanta area, seeks works 
for/by/about African Americans. For more 
info, contact: Karen L. Forest (404) 231-4846. 

CENTRAL AMERICA UPDATE, 1/2-hour, 
monthly news 6k public affairs program shown 
on public-access stations across country, is 
looking for footage or produced pieces (1-30 
min.) on Central America, Cuba 6k Haiti 
(especially Haiti, Salvadoran elections, return 
of Guatamalan refugees from Mexico). Also 
looking for someone in D.C. to tape interviews 
for show. Can't pay, but can cover costs of 
tape 6k mailing. Contact: Carol Yourman, 362 
Washington St., Cambridge, MA 02139; 
(617) 492-8719. 

COLLECTING COLLECTORS, video 
screening series that celebrates people w/ pas- 
sion for collecting, seeks everything from 
unedited tapes to feature films. Send VHS 
tape w/ SASE 6k description to: Danny 
Leonard, media arts coordinator, Center for 
Creative Work, 425 Bush St., Ste. 425, San 
Francisco, CA 94108; (510) 527-4814. 

DOWNTOWN COMMUNITY TV CEN- 
TER (DCTV) accepts 3/4" 6k VHS tapes for 
open screenings 6k special series w/ focus on 
women, youth, multimedia performance video, 
Middle East, gay/lesbian, Native American, 
labor 6k Asian art. Contact: Jocelyn Taylor, 
DCTV, 87 Lafayette St., NY, NY 10013; 
(212) 941-1-298. 

THE EDGE, Denver-based media collective, 
seeks films 6k. videos on alternative approach- 
es, feminist stories, ethnically 6k sexually 
diverse works for monthly screenings. All gen- 
res considered. Formats: 16mm. S-8, 3/4" 6k 
1/2". Submit VHS for preview only. Send to: 
Lisa Bilodeau, 804 West 4th Ave. #3, 
Denver, CO 80223. 

THE E-TEAM, children's TV show w/ envi- 
ronmental theme, seeks film/video footage 6k 
completed works that maintain environmen- 
tal, nature or science theme. Fees paid for 



footage used on air. Contact: David Calder- 
wood, producer, Euro-Pacific Productions, Inc. 
(908) 530-4451. 

EN CAMINO, KRCB, seeks works of 30-60 
min. in Spanish 6k English concerning the 
Latino community. Formats: 3/4", 16mm. 
Please contact: Luis Nong, Box 2638, Rohnert 
Park, CA 94928. 

ESSENTIAL CINEMA GROUP continually 
accepts works for Ind. Short Cinema bimonth- 
ly film series. 16/35mm short films, 30 min. 
max. Seeking new experimental, narrative, 
doc 6k animation. Send preview tapes on VHS 
(NTSC, PAL) w/ return postage to: Pike 
Street Cinema, 118 Pike St., Seattle, WA 
98101. For more info on ECG, write: 2011 
Fifth Ave., #301, Seattle, WA 98121-2502; 
(206) 441-6181. 

EZTV seeks film/video shorts (under 20 min.) 
for LA.-based UHF TV show. Submit 1/2" or 
3/4" tapes. Narrative, experimental, doc. 
Anything goes. Contact: Jean Railla, EZTV, 
8547 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hollywood, CA 
90069. 

FILMS/VIDEOS WANTED. Shorts under 10 
min. for DYKE TV, weekly NYC cable-TV 
show. For info, call: (212) 343-935 or fax: 
9337. 

FULL HOUSE, night of movies. Monthly fest 
of short films produced for exhibition in ever- 
expanding number of venues throughout the 
U.S. Films must be 16mm w/ optical sound. 
Need not be recent prods, but should be under 
30 min. (w/ some exceptions). Preview on 
16mm preferred. Send $10 w/ entry 6k SASE 
to: Jack of Hearts Productions, Box 3004, 
Albany, NY 12203; (518) 489-2037. 

HANDI-CAPABLE IN THE MEDIA, non- 
profit organization, seeks video prods on peo- 
ple w/ disabilities to air on Atlanta's Public 
Access TV. No fees. Submit VHS or 3/4" 
videotape to: Handi-Capable in the Media, 
Inc., 2625 Piedmont Rd., Ste. 56-137, 
Atlanta, GA 30324. 

LATINO COLLABORATIVE, bimonthly 
screening series, seeks works by Latino 
film/videomakers. Honoraria paid. Send VHS 
preview tapes to: Latino Collaborative 
Bimonthly Screening Series, Euridece Arrati 
or Karim Ainouz, 280 Broadway, Ste. 412, 
NY, NY 10007. 

NATIONAL POLICE ATHLETIC LEAGUE 
seeks videos that create strong self image 
among teens. All genres — art, music on video. 
Send letter of permission to air. Contact: 
NPAL, 1626 32nd St. NW, Ste. 270, 
Washington, DC 20007. 

NEW AMERICAN MAKERS, nationally rec- 
ognized venue for new works by emerging 6k 
under-recognized videomakers at the Center 
for the Arts in SF, seeks works that challenge 
the boundaries of creative video/TV. 



49 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 49 



Hi-8/Betacam Sp 

Packages 

SONY, BETACAM SP CAMCORDER 
PACKAGE... $400 

SONY, PRO HI BAND 
PACKAGE... $200 

INCLUDED IN EACH PACKAGE: 

■ Light Kit plus Sun Gun w/Battery Belt 

■ Audio Kit plus Shore Field Mixer FP32 

■ Field monitor ■ Fluid tripod 

■ 

VHS-VHS PROFESSIONAL 
EDITING SYSTEM 

DO YOUR HI-8 AND BETACAM SP 
OFF LINE EDITING ON: 

JVC BR8600U to JVC BR8600U 
W/RM86U editing console... $10 per/hr. 

PEOPLE W/AIDS PROJECTS DISCOUNT 



Manahatta Images Corp. 

260 WEST 10TH STREET, STE. 1E 
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10014 
212-807-8825 FAX AVAILABLE 




TIRED OF THE YEAR END 
TAX MESS? 

Do you need an accountant whose 
there for you throughout 
the year? #1 

SOLUTION . . . 

• Preparing your Tax Return 

• Answering your Tax Questions 

• Helping you benefit from the Tax Laws 

• Assisting you in your Bookkeeping 

• Affordable 

SPECIALIZING IN 
• FILM & VIDEO ARTS • 



VASCO ACCOUNTING 

20 WEST 20TH STREET 
I SUITE 808 

■ NEW YORK. NY 10011 



Of TEL: 212- 989* 4789 
FAX: 212 •989*4897 




STREET VIDEO, inc. (212) 594-7530 



HI8 TO BETA COMPONENT EDITING $75 



POST PRODUCTION SERVICES ^^^w 

Beta-Beta edit $75 HI8-Beta edit $75 

3/4-3/4 edit $55 HI8-3/4 edit $55 

3/4-3/4 self edit $35 VHS-VHS self edit $10 

Beta-Beta w/HI8 or 3/4 source in 3 machine system w/effects $95 

Amiga character generator pre-session $40 

Amiga character generator in session (in addition to edit) $20 

Miicrogen character generator in session (in addition to edit) $10 

1 hour minimum on all editing services 



TIME CODE SERVICES ^es P e w 

Beta Time Code Generation $25 H 18 & 3/4 Time Code Generation ... $25 

Beta to VHS Burn-in $25 HI8 & 3/4 to VHS Burn-in $25 



1 hour minimun on all timecode services 



PRODUCTION SERVICES (Daily rates/Broadcast) 

Betacam SP E.N.G. package w/crew of two $850 

Pro HI Band 8 E.N.G. package w/crew of two $600 



29TH STREET IS THE BEST! 



Videomakers receive honorarium of $2/min. 
for tapes. Send VHS tape, $15 entry fee & 
SASE to: New American Makers, Box 
460490, San Francisco, CA 94146. 

NYTEX PRODUCTIONS seeks video inter- 
views from across the US. Looking for politi- 
cal, entertainment, & PSAs in super VHS or 
VHS. Send to: NyTex Productions, Box 303, 
NY, NY 10101-0303, Attn: Don Cevaro. 

OFFLINE, hour-long, biweekly, regional pub- 
lic-access show, seeks ind. & creative works. 
Submissions should be 3/4", SVHS or VHS & 
should not exceed 20 min. (longer works will 
be considered for serialization). For more info, 
contact: Greg Bowman, 203 Pine Tree Rd., 
Ithaca, NY 14850; (607) 272-2613. 

OPEN WIDE, weekly, half-hour TV series 
produced by CBC Manitoba that profiles best 
of alternative, underground & ind. cinema 
from Canada, US & world, seeks submissions. 
Looking for experimental, video art, comedy, 
drama, animation, docs & music videos 
between 30 sec. & 20 min. Submissions on 
16mm, VHS, Hi8, 3/4", 1/2" or video. 
Film/video associations & distribs. should send 
catalogs w/ submissions. License fee paid if 
selected for broadcast. Submissions may be in 
any language from any time. Will acknowledge 
submission w/in 10 days. Send to: Open Wide, 
CBC Manitoba, 541 Portage Ave., Winnipeg, 
Manitoba R3B 2G1, Attn: Shipping Dept.; 
(204) 788-31 1 1, Gavin Rich, producer. 

ORGONE CINEMA, newly formed group, 
looking for films/videos for possible exhibition 
in Pittsburgh area. Prefer VHS for preview. 
Especially interested in 8mm, S-8 &. 16mm. 
Deadline: Ongoing. Send to: Orgone Cinema 
&. Archive, c/o M. Johnson, 2238 Murray 
Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15217. 

PHILADELPHIA STORIES screenwnting 
competition accepting submissions nationally 
for original feature-length screenplays set pri- 
marily in greater Philadelphia metro area. All 
genres accepted; scripts judged on quality &. 
extent they tell a genuine Philadelphia story. 
Awards: $3,000, fest. passes, story notes, meet- 
ing w/ industry professionals. Postmark dead- 
line: Jan. 21. Entry fee: $20. Winner 
announced May 1994 during 3rd Annual 
Philadelphia Fest. of World Cinema. Sub- 
missions not accepted w/o completed applica- 
tion form. For guidelines, send SASE to: 
PFWC/Screenwriting Competition, Interna- 
tional House, 3701 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, 
PA 19104. 

PLANET CENTRAL TELEVISION seeks 
broadcast-quality films, videos &. animation 
censored by US TV as too controversial or 
political. Bonus considerations for submissions 
that are smart, funny, sexy & exhibit an irrev- 
erent attitude. Send tape to: Dana Saunders, 
director of program acquisitions, Planet 
Central Television, 20178 Rockport Way, 
Malibu, CA 90265. 

SUPER CAMERA, production of Office KEI, 
an int'l TV company, seeks unique & never- 



50 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 50 



before-seen footage. Areas incl. cutting edge 
of camera tech, footage that is dangerous to 
shoot, such as in volcanoes or underwater & 
events from both the natural & physical sci- 
ence worlds. For more info, contact: Office 
KEI, 110 East 42nd St., Ste. 1419, NY, NY 
10017, (212) 983-7479; fax: 7591. 

VIDEO SHORTS, a nat'l video art competi- 
tion, seeks works 6 min or less in 3/4", 3/4" SP, 
VHS, S-VHS, 8mm & Hi8 formats, NTSC 
standard only. In addition to general category, 
there is special "Video by Children" category, 
for which children 12 & under are eligible. 
Cash prizes for top entries. Entry fee: $20 per 
piece, $10 for each additional entry on the 
same cassette. Submissions must be post- 
marked no later than Feb. 1 . For more info &. 
entry forms, write: Video Shorts, Box 20369, 
Seattle, WA 98102; (206) 325-8449. 

Opportunities • Gigs 

INDEPENDENT producers interested in 
working for NYC agencies in freelance media 
production are invited to participate in new 
database directory to be distributed through 
Crosswalks Television & other sources. Will 
link inds. w/ government agencies creating 
media. $10 registration fee gets listing w/ 1 
update per yr. For more info & appl., write: 
SCS Productions, 244 W. 54 St. #800, New 
York, NY 10019. 

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN, 
Dept. of Radio-TV-Film, seeks qualified can- 
didates for 2 tenure-track assistant professor 
positions for fall 1994- First is in int'l commu- 
nication & mass communication theory &. 
requires Ph.D. in communication or related 
field. Send letter, resume, references & sam- 
ples of published works to: Sharon Strover, 
Dept. of Radio-TV-Film, CMA 6.118, UT- 
Austin, Austin, TX 78712-1091. Also, posi- 
tion in film/video prod, requiring Ph.D., MFA 
&/or strong record of prod. Materials should 
be sent to: Faculty Search Committee — Prod., 
Dept. of Radio-TV-Film. EOE. Review of 
appls. will continue until positions are filled. 

Resources • Funds 

AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE administers 
for the National Endowment for the Arts pro- 
gram of grants for ind. media artists whose 
work shows exceptional promise & who have 
demonstrated a commitment to the art of 
moving image. Highly competitive; limited 
grants. Previous recipients may not reapply. 
Grants range from $10,000 to $20,000. Appls. 
judged on basis of creativity of proposed pro- 
ject & artistic merit & technical quality of 
sample work. For info & deadline, contact: 
American Film Institute, Box 27999, 2021 N. 
Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027; (213) 
856-7600. 

CENTER FOR MEDIA, CULTURE & HIS- 
TORY at NYU announces Rockefeller 
humanities fellowships for scholars, media- 
makers & activists who wish to address issues 
of representation, social change & the con- 
struction of identity embedded in develop- 



BETA SP / SVHS / HI8 / ACQUISITION / EDITING 
TWM will beat any legit price for comparable services! 

SHOOTING: IKEGAMI HC 340 w SONY betacam sp top of the line 

B VV-5 : from $300 DAY/ 3 CCD S- VHS: BR-S41 1U: from $135 DAY / HI-8 CCD V5000 : $75 DAY 
Optional Audio and Lighting Aces. Price breaks after 2 consecutive days. Wkly Discounts. 

EDITING '. SONY BETA SP- PVW 2000 series w AMIGA- 
THIRD WWW VIDEO TOASTER 3.0 - AMILINK , DVE's, Character Gen, Slow or 

Fast Mo , Wave Form Mon, VectorScope.TBC's, Sunrise 16 
Ufjtm H ■ H stereo digital audio, Stereo mixer . Full Beta SP A/B roll capability. 

'■-■'-"'■'' y; ] \ \ - Self Service EDITING at $20 hr component, $25 hr Toaster 3, 

$35 A/B/roll. 

- Full EDITORIAL Services Available 

- Transfers and Window dubs from $30hr. Hi-8, S-VHS, or 3/4" to 
Beta SP. Window dubs to any format. 

- CMX EDL On Line mastering from non - linear EDL's. 

DAY OR NIGHT - east60'S location 



MEDIA 
INC 

212-751- 7414 





§§§| 



:■:!■'■ 

¥ 

%3% : 




■>:«. 



■ ■ 'M 



4t 



Betacam SP field production 

Component Betacam SP editing 

Digital F/X Paint F/X DL graphics 

AVID Non-Linear editing 

3/4 cuts editing 

:# Mac files to video 

Component HIS transfers 

Betacam SP, 3A4SR HIS, VHS duplication; 

25* x30' stage 



212.52S.S204 



111$: ... 


S€rWINC ARTISTS & IND£P£ND£NTS SINCE I9S6 













APS RENTALS. INC. 








Complete 16mm Camera, Dolly, Sound and 
Lighting Packages at Bargain Prices. 

"cut your budget in half by shooting with 
APS RENTALS" 

625 BROADWAY, 10TH FLOOR, NEW YORK 
(212)254-9118 • FAX (212)254-0915 





51 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 51 




We Specialize in Audio/Video Equipment 



EQUIPMENT FINANCING 



Fast, Easy Qualification To Apply or Request 

No Financial Statements Necessary Additional Information Call 
True Lease or Finance Lease Option Jeff Wetter Today. 

SI FLEX LEASE, Inc. 

■IH COMMERCIAL EQUIPMENT FINANCING 

Loans By Phone: (800) 69 9-FLEX 

= Fas: (214) 578-0 9 44 




Video Duplication 

READY NEXT DAY- Mon-Fri 

3/4" U-matic & 1/2" VHS or Beta II Copies 

FROM 3/4", 1/2" VHS MASTER Add $25.00 per ONE INCH Master 

FROM ONE 20 MINUTES 30 MINUTES 60 MINUTES 1/2" VHS/Beta II 
MASTER 3/4" 1/2" 3/4" 1/2" 3/4" 1/2" 90 MIN. 120 MIN. 



One Copy $4.00 $4.00 


$6.00 $5.00 


$9.00 $8.00 


$11.00 


$14.00 


2-4 Copies 3.50 3.00 


5.50 4.50 


8.00 6.00 


8.00 


9.00 


5-9 Copies 3.00 2.50 


4.50 3.50 


7.00 5.00 


7.00 


8.00 


10-19 Copies 2.50 2.00 


4.00 3.00 


6.00 4.50 


6.00 


7.00 


1-4 RUSH Dubs. $8.00 


$11.00 


$17.00 


$22.00 


$28.00 


TC Burn In $10.00 


$14.00 


$26.00 


Inquire for LABELING 


Window Dubs 5.00 


7.00 


13.00 


& SHRINK 


WRAP 



PRICES ARE PER COPY- STOCK NOT INCLUDED. ASSEMBLY CHARGES ARE ADDITIONAL. 



EQUIPMENT: 3/4" Sony, 1/2" Panasonic 2 ch. industrial recorders and Grass 
Valley & Videotek distributors. Time base correction, optional, with Microtime 
and Tektronix equipment. TITLING & EDITING FACILITIES AVAILABLE 

3/4" & 1/2" EDITING Evenings & 24 Hour Access 
With and Without an Editor Instructions Available 
CHYRON TITLER AVAILABLE 
ONE LIGHT FILM TO TAPE TRANSFERS 

FILM STOCK. VIDEO TAPE, AUDIO TAPE. LEADER & SUPPLIES 



(212)475-7884 

,814 BROADWAY 
NEW YORK, NY 10003 




ment of media worldwide. For the 1994/95 
academic year, Center's theme is Local 
Knowledge in Global Village: Diaspora, 
Indigenous & Multicultural Media. Deadline: 
Jan. 15. For info &. appl., contact: Center for 
Media, Culture & History, NYU, 25 Waverly 
Place, NY, NY 10003. 

FILM PRESERVATION PROGRAM, a joint 
program of AFI & NEA, is awarding grants to 
help organizations preserve &. restore films of 
artistic & cultural value. Tax-exempt organi- 
zations w/ existing archival film preservation 
program & adequate staff & equipment are 
eligible. Grants made on a matching basis & 
are generally less than $25,000. Appls post- 
marked no later than Jan. 31. Notification 
before Oct. For appl. & info., contact 
:AFI/NEA Film Preservation Program, Nat'l 
Center for Film & Video Preservation at AFI, 
John F. Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C. 
20566; (202) 828-4070. 

CHICAGO RESOURCE CENTER awards 

grants to nonprofits who serve gay & lesbian 
community. For more info, contact: Chicago 
Resource Center, 104 S. Michigan Ave., Ste. 
1220, Chicago, IL 60603; (312) 759-8700. 

LOUISIANA CENTER FOR CULTURAL 
MEDIA now makes professional camera pack- 
ages &. cuts-only editing systems avail, free of 
charge to indivs. who agree to produce arts & 
heritage programming regularly &. exclusively 
for the Cultural Cable Channel of New 
Orleans. To qualify, interested parties must be 
members of Cultural Communications 
($35/yr.) &. will have to produce minimum of 
6 shows & complete at least 1 program per 
month. For more info, contact: Mark J. 
Sindler, executive director, Cultural Cable 
Channel (504) 529-3366. 

POLLOCK-KRASNER FOUNDATION 
gives financial assistance to artists of recogniz- 
able merit & financial need working as mixed 
media or installation artists. Grants awarded 
throughout yr., $l,000-$30,000. For guide- 
lines, write: Pollock-Krasner Foundation, 725 
Park Ave., NY, NY 10021. 



Moving? 

Please call and let us know if you have 
a change of address. The Independent 
is sent out Third Class bulk mail 
(unless you pay the additional cost for 
First Class) and the U.S. Postal Service 
will not forward bulk-mailed maga- 
zines. Once AIVF is notified of a 
change of address, it may still take up 
to four weeks to take effect. Back 
issues are not always available. So 
call us with your new address as soon 
as possible. It's the easiest, fastest 
way to insure you'll receive The 
Independent and other AIVF mailings. 



52 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 52 




Creatures from Brenda Laurel's 

Placeholder. 
Courtesy mediamakers 




continued from page 19 
would stimulate user creativity with mini- 
mal constraints. Strickland and Laurel 
began by shooting footage of a sulfur hot 
spring in a natural cave, a waterfall, and a 
fantastic rock formation near Banff 
National Park. Then they digitized their 
footage, spatialized their sound, and 
added some simple character animation. 
As participants enter the exhibition 
space, they see two ten-foot circles sur- 
rounded by river rocks. The users put on 
a head-mounted display. First, the users 
are in darkness. Then a cave comes up, 
and a character, whom Laurel calls "The 
Goddess," begins to offer bits of advice 
through the HMD speakers. The users 
can't see her, and her voice, unlike all the 
other sounds in the space, is not spatial- 
ized. As users enter the cave, creatures — 
a spider, crow, fish, and snake — begin to 
talk from petroglyphs on the cave walls 
and entice them closer. When a user gets 
close enough, he or she "becomes" the 
animal. The user assumes the physical 
features of the animal and his or her voice 
is distorted. Laurel calls these "smart cos- 
tumes." 

Visitors to the virtual cave, like campers 
in a park, also leave signs of their pres- 
ence. Users can leave "voicemarks," bits 
of spoken narrative, in a "voiceholder," 
which can be heard and rearranged by 



later visitors. In this way, the virtual land- 
scape accumulates definition. The voice- 
holder appears to be a rock with a primi- 
tive face carved on it. When its eyes are 
closed, the voiceholder is empty. When 
someone has a message, its eyes are open. 
People were told how to use the voice- 
holder before entering the space, but 
unfortunately, a technical problem made 
it difficult to use. Technical snarls are 
problems that interactive producers con- 
front constantly. "When something 
doesn't work quickly, people lose inter- 
est," says Laurel. For those people who 
figured out how to make it work, "The 
activity became about solving that prob- 
lem." 

The smart costumes and voiceholder 
are intended to provide interesting dra- 
matic potential for users. Laurel has sev- 
eral names for these devices: "enhanced 
props," "smart clay," or "prostheses for 
the imagination." They are designed to 
enhance people's desire to create their 
own world within the environment. After 
watching 120 people walk through 
Placeholder at Banff, Laurel is not worried 
anymore about motivating people to 
interact. "The gee-whiz factor is still very 
strong," she says, "and if you leave inter- 
esting things around, embedded things — 
like placing treasure at the bottom of a 
pool— to make people create goals, they 



USASTUDIOS 



53 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 53 




You don't need an Aeroflot ticket 
to find compelling images from 
Russia. Now the full sweep of 
Russian history — from before the 
1917 Revolution to the revolution 
of today — is available in our com- 
prehensive film and video archive. 
To find out more, give us a call. 

The Russian 
Archive 

At David Royle Productions 

(212) 947-8433 



Mercer Street 
Sound 



The Audio Alternative 

Digital Audio 

for 
Film and Video 

Protools/Fairlight/ADAT 

Original Music 

Sound Effects 

Voice Over and ADR 

3/4" Video Lockup 

full MIDI Poom 

• SPECIAL • 

Non-Commercial Pates 

212.966.6794 

133 Mercer St. NYC 10012 





Courtesy Greg Roach 

get even more deeply involved. 

"This malleable world seems odd to 
adults," Laurel continues. "Adults make a 
clear distinction between authoring and 
consuming. To adults, if you have to 
make the world and then play in it, it 
feels like changing hats. Little kids don't 
have that problem." By way of example, 
Laurel points out that children make 
assertions, and those assertions instantly 
become part of the play environment. A 
child will say, "I am a princess and I am 
riding a horse." And, like God in Genesis, 
so it is. By contrast, Laurel says, "Adults 
need a certain anonymity or ability to 
mask. They need props like the smart cos- 
tumes so that they don't look silly. When 
those conditions exist, adults like to play." 

Much current criticism of VR focuses 
on its lousy image resolution, but Laurel 
argues that image quality isn't critical. A 
certain level of visual ambiguity (like one 
finds in the rocks and waterfalls at Banff) 
"evokes more imaginative play." Laurel 
adds: "It's like the faces you see in clouds. 
They make projection screens for the 
imagination. The visual resolution is not 
as important as a certain evocative ambi- 
guity from natural shapes." An additional 
discovery that diminished the preeminent 
importance of the visual image was find- 



54 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 54 




ing that high quality audio made people 
say the images looked better. 

Worth noting is the fact that Toni 
Dove, Perry Hoberman, and Brenda 
Laurel's pieces were all produced through 
a one-of-a-kind, artist-centered, high- 
tech program in Canada, where such eru- 
dite ventures occasionally flourish as a 
result of federal largesse and corporate 
enlightenment. Because of the expensive 
equipment and unusually knowledgeable 
staff necessary to build and operate it, the 
works are unlikely to be seen anywhere 
else in the world. The problem of appro- 
priate venues is not isolated to projects 
developed at Banff. In general, finding 
exhibition sites for noncommercial inter- 
active multimedia is close to impossible. 

Grahame Weinbren has been trying to 
present Sonata at film festivals. Museum 
exhibition is problematic, he explains, 
because "in a museum, people want to 
'get it' in two minutes." At festivals, peo- 
ple expect to spend as much time as they 
would with any other film. Weinbren, like 
other producers, awaits interactive televi- 
sion technology with cautious optimism. 
Given the conditioning influence of TV, 
will people want to sit in front of their 
sets without breaking for a phone call or a 
dash to the fridge? 

Laurel is also hoping that people even- 
tually will be able to use her piece at 



GLC 



Productions 

1 1 WEEHAWKEN STREET 
GREENWICH VILLAGE, NY 10014 
TELEPHONE 212-691-1038 
FAX 212-691-6864 



Film/Video 



AVID™ SUITES 




RENTALS OR CREATIVE SERVICES 

■ NON-LINEAR OFF-LINE DIGITAL EDITING 

■ LONG OR SHORT FORMATS 

■ INSTANT ACCESS TO HOURS OF FOOTAGE 



Audio 



3 DIGITAL AUDIO SUITES / 24 TRACK ANALOG 



RENTALS OR CREATIVE SERVICES 

■ SOUND DESIGN / SOUND EDITING / MIXING 

■ ADR / SFX / FOLEY 

■ SCORING / ARRANGING 

■ LIVE RECORDING 

call 212-691 -1038 

FOR BROCHURE / INFORMATION 



GLC FOR POST-PRODUCTION SOLUTIONS 




// 



HFI. . . the intelligent alternative 
to 4-year film schools!" 

□ UCLA - 4-years, cost $65,000 & get theory 

□ USC = 4-years, cost $80,000 & get theory 

□ _ NYU = 4-years, cost $85,000 & get theory 
3T HFI = 2-DAYS,ONLY $279 & GET FACTS 



NY/MANHATTAN (March 5-6, June 18-19) 

LA/HOLLYWOOD (February 5-6, March 12-13, May 29-30) 

Munich, Germany (Jan 22-23,) San Diego (Jan 29-30,) Las Vegas (Feb 12-13,) Nashville (Feb 26-27.) 

Atlanta (March 19-20,) San Francisco (March 26-27,) Philadelphia (April 9-10,) Dallas (April 16-17) 



Dov S-S Simens' 
HOUYWOOP 

0EEE3 

INSTITUTE 

Checks and major credit cards accepted! Courses sell out. Call for pre-registration or information. 
HFI, Bo* 48 1252, Los Angeles, CA 90048 




55 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 55 



GREAT RESOURCE BOOKS FROM FIVF 

ORDER TODAY- SUPPLIES ARE LIMITED! 



AIVF Guide to International Film & Video Festivals 

by Kathryn Bowser 

published by FIVF 

238 pages, $29.95/524.95 member price 

The 3rd edition of FIVF's bestseller is a completely indexed and easy-to-read 
compendium of over 600 international film and video festivals, with contact 
information, entry regulations, dates and deadlines, categories, accepted 
formats, and much more. The Guide includes information on all types of 
festivals: small and large, specialized and general, domestic and foreign. 

An important reference source which belongs in the library of every media 
professional: independent producers, distributors, festival directors, 
programmers, curators, exhibitors. 




-4/rT.v- . 



AIVF Guide to Film and Video Distributors 

A Publication of the Foundation for Independent Video and Film 

edited by Kathryn Bowser 

184 pages, $19.50 

A must-read for independent film and video-makers searching for the right distributor. The 
AIVF Guide to Film and Video Distributors presents handy profiles of over 150 commercial 
and nonprofit distributors, practical information and company statistics on the type of work 
handled, primary markets, relations with producers, marketing and promotion, foreign 
distribution and contacts. Fully indexed, with additional contact lists of cable/satellite 
services and public television outlets, as well as a bibliography. This is the best 
compendium of distribution and information especially tailored for independent 
producers available. 



Alternative visions 

Distributing Independent Video in a Home Video World 

by Debra Franco 

a co-publication of AFI and FIVF, 181 pages 

$i2.95/$9.95 AIVF and AFI member price 

Video cassettes and video stores have changed forever the economics of distribution for all 
moving image media— including alternative films and tapes. What has happened to 
institutional markets? What promise does home video distribution really hold for non- 
mainstream work? Chapters cover selling to schools, libraries, and individual consumers. 
Includes detailed case studies of the marketing of eight independent works. 
Essential reading for anyone with an interest in home video distribution. 




SEE ORDER CARD FOR ORDERING INFORMATION 



56 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 56 



The Association 
of Independent 
Video and 
Filmmakers 



&e*tefct&> <*£ t 7tte#Pt&&i&6<fi 



THE INDEPENDENT 

Membership provides you with a year's 
subscription to The Independent. 
Published 10 times a year, each issue 
includes festival listings, funding 
deadlines, exhibition venues, and 
more. Plus, you'll find thought- 
provoking features, news, and regular 
columns on business, technical, and 
legal matters. And special issues that 
highlight regional activity and focus on 
subjects such as media education and 
the new technologies. 

[FESTIVAL BUREAU SERVICES 

ATVF maintains up-to-date information 
on over 650 national and international 
festivals, and can help you determine 
which are right for your film or 
video. We also work directly with many 
foreign festivals, in some cases collect- 
ing and shipping tapes or prints 
overseas, or serving as the U.S. host to 
visiting festival directors. 



INFORMATION SERVICES 

In person or over the phone, ATVF can 
provide information about distributors, 
festivals, and general information 
pertinent to the field. Our library 
houses information on everything from 
distributors to sample contracts to 
budgets. 

NETWORKING 

Membership allows you to join fellow 
ATVF members at intimate events 
featuring festival directors, producers, 
distributors, and funders. 



wHien you join the Association of Independent Video and 
Filmmakers, you're doing something for yourself — and for 
others. Membership entitles you to a wide range of benefits. 
Plus, it connects you with a national network of independent 
producers. Adding your voice helps us all. The stronger ATVF 
is, the more we can act as advocate for the interests of inde- 
pendents like yourself — inside the corridors of Washington, 

with the press, and with others who affect our livelihoods. 
JOIN AIVF TODAY! 



ADVOCACY 

Whether it's freedom of expression, 
public funding, public TV, contractual 
agreements, cable legislation, or other 
issues that affect independents, ATVF 
is there working for you. 

DISCOUNTED BOOKS 

We have a large inventory of media 
books, as well as publishing our own 
titles on festivals, distribution, and 
foreign production resources. Members 
receive substantial discounts. 



ACCESS TO INSURANCE 

Membership makes you eligible to 
purchase health, disability, and life 
insurance, a dental plan and liability 
insurance through AIVF suppliers. 

SERVICE DISCOUNTS 

Discounts on equipment rentals, 
processing, editing, and other produc- 
tion necessities are available. 

SEMINARS 

Seminars explore business, aesthetic, 
legal, and technical topics, and offer a 
chance to meet other makers. 



AIVF 

625 Broadway 
9th floor 
New York, NY 
10012 



M 



'■'•'■'" 

-V • 
/■■'•'" ■'■' , 

mm 



*HM» 



SSi 



i 



DOES YOUR LIBRARY HAVE THE INDEPENDENT! 

Take this coupon to your school or public librarian 
and request a subscription today! 



FILM & VIDEO MONTHLY 

moEPQOEm 

LIBRARY SUBSCRIPTION COUPON 

•10 issues/yr 

•ISSN 0731-0589 

•Vol. 16 (1993) 

•Published by the Association of Independent Video & Filmmakers 

•Library, $75 ($90 outside North America) 

ORDER The Independent from: 

ATVF, 625 Broadway, 9th fl., New York, NY 10012; (212) 473-3400. 

EBSCO: (205) 991-6600; fax (205) 991-1479. 

FAXON (US): (800) 283-2966; (CAN): (519) 472-1005; fax 472-1072. 



Join ATVF today and get a one-year subscription to The Independent. 

Foreign Surface Rates 

(Outside North America) 



Membership Rates 

(Canada, Mexico, US, PR) 



□ $25/student (enclose copy of 

student ID) 

□ $45/individual 

□ $75/library 

□ $100/nonprofit organization 

□ $150/business & industry 

□ Add $18 for 1st class mailing 



□ $40/student (enclose copy of 

student ID) 

□ $60/individual 

□ $90/library 

□ $1 15/nonprofit organization 

□ $165/business & industry 

J Add $40 for foreign air mail 



BOOKS FOR SALE 

□ The ATVF Guide to International The ATVF Guide to Film & Video 

Film & Video Festivals ($29.95/ Distributors ($19.50) 

$24.95 member price) Alternative Visions ($12.95/$9.95 

ATVF or AFI members) 



Name 



Organization 

Address 

City 

State 



Zip 



Country 

Telephone 

Professional Status (e.g., dir.) 



Enclosed is my check or money order. 
Or, please bill my: □ Visa 

G Mastercard 

ACCOUNT # 
EXPIRATION DATE 
SIGNATURE 

Charge by phone: (212) 473-3400. 



(fat* /4W? 7*<Uct m 

Five thousand members strong, 
the Association of Independent 
Video and Filmmakers has been 
working for independent produc- 
ers — providing information, fight- 
ing for artists' rights, securing 
funding, negotiating discounts, 
and offering group insurance 
plans. Join our growing roster. 



MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES 

Individual membership 

10 issues of The Independent 
Access to all plans and discounts 
Festival/Distribution/Library services 
Information services 
Discounted admission to seminars 
Tape and publication discounts 
Advocacy campaign participation 
Free Motion Picture Enterprises Guide 
Voting and running for office on board 
of directors 

Student membership 

All the benefits of individual 
membership except voting & running 
for board of directors and health, life, 
disability insurance eligibility 

Library membership 

10 issues of The Independent 

Festival/Distribution/Library services 

Information services 

Free MPE Guide 

PLUS: Special notice of upcoming 

publications 

Nonprofit Organizational membership 

All the benefits of individual 
membership except voting & running 
for board of directors 
PLUS: Includes up to 3 individuals 

Business/Industry membership 

All the benefits of individual 

membership except voting & running 

for board of directors 

PLUS: Special mention in The 

Independent 

Includes up to 3 individuals 



92 



■x.81 



raw 









garaaG 



\m 






5J£ 



wm 



*M 



'*>V' 



ffl 



&K& 



* 



•m 



"< ■ 



k& 



m ■;">■>-;■ 



« 




.ii'«ri 



lt>M 




home. Ten years down the line, she 
believes, Placeholder will find life as a con- 
sumer product to be distributed on an 
electronic network and used at home 
with a lightweight helmet and glove. 

In the short term, Peter Adair, Peggy 
Weil, John Sanborn, and Greg Roach are 
all working on commercially backed con- 
sumer products. Most of these are under 
nondisclosure agreements, which prevent 
them from talking about the projects. 
Security is tight. The industry assumption 
is that when the "killer application" for 
multimedia appears, it will be to interac- 
tive what Birth of a Nation was to movies. 

But the can't-live-without-it applica- 
tion remains to be invented. "I used to 
feel that interactive multimedia would 
build on existing syntax," says Roach. 
"I'm now beginning to believe that there's 
a whole new syntax needed by this medi- 
um that will be fundamentally different 
than television and film. 

"Even the best of us are so shackled by 
our training," he continues. "It's very 
hard to throw off all the vestiges of those 
previous forms. It will take a whole new 
generation that grows up inside of this 
medium to really find out what it's all 
about. I hope some of us can kick the 
doors open a little bit." 

Barbara Bliss Osbom reports on new technologies 
through the hopelessly old-fashioned and irrefutably 
linear technology of print. 

Most of the pieces discussed in this article were produced 
with a mix of off-the-shelf and customized software. 
Interactive designers agree that the design, production, 
and postproduction of an interactive piece are integrally 
connected. A number of designers build their projects 
using the popular software package called MacroMind 
Director. They can then have the MacroMind prototype 
programmed in C Code, which runs faster. Adair 
describes the difference between MacroMind and C 
Code as the difference between "a prefab house and 
having someone deliver trees." 



EDITING ROOMS 

Sony 3/4" 
and 16 mm 



And the newest 

AVID 

Non-Linear 
Editing System 



Special rates 

for long-form 

independent projects 

▲▲▲ 

AIVF member discount 

▲▲ 

24-hour building 

330 W. 42nd St. 

▼ 

Tel: 9471395 

Richter Productions 



WHEN IT COMES TO 

m 




mmrnm 

NEW YORK 

420 LEXINGTON AVENUE 

NEW YORK, N.Y. 10170-0199 

TEL: (212) 867-3550 • FAX: (212) 983-6483 

JOLYON F. STERN, President 

CAROL A. BRESSI, Manager 
Entertainment & Media Division 

LOS ANGELES 

11365 VENTURA BOULEVARD 

STUDIO CITY, CA 91604 

TEL: (818) 763-9365 • FAX: (818) 762-2242 

JERRY VANDE SANDE • BILL HUDSON 



AFFILIATES IN: LONDON • PARIS • MUNICH 



AFFORDABLE 




HI-8 



3/4' 



BETACAM 



i" 



D-2 rates start as low as $ 185/hr 
(212) 997-1464 



R.G. VIDEO 

21 West 46th Street New York, NY 10036 



Experience 



Future 

• ■ I 



Willi 

Digital and 

Non-Linear 

On-line 




AVID 



57 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 57 



WHERE 

EXPERIENCE 

SHOWS 




Serving The Independent Filmmaker For 23 Years. 

A Black/White and Color Full Service Lab 
35mm, 16mm Dailies 

Prep and Clean 

Film to Video Transfer 

Video to Film Transfer 

Student Rates Available 

Film Craft Video 

37630 Interchange Drive • Farmington Hills, Ml 48335 
Sales Office 810 474-3900 • Fax 810 474-8535 

• 

Film Craft Laboratories 

66 Sibley Street • Detroit, Ml 48201 
313 962-2611 • Fax 313 962-9888 



EL ARMADILLO 



MUSIC VIDEOS • FASHION 

•INDUSTRIALS* 




BETACAM SPWTOASTER 

8UMPURSrB0MAU.K*5MAr3 
WINDOW DOBS-TRANSFERS 

2I2-2I3-313 7 

17 W 27TH -ST NYC 



PAL 



BROADCAST SERVICES INC. 

245 EIGHTH AVENUE #143, NEW YORK, N.Y. 10011 
* FEATURING * 

SONY BVW-400/50 PAL 

BETACAM SP PACKAGES 




SPECIAL MULTIPLE CAMERA RATES 



COMPLETE PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT 
EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONAL CREWS 
GONTINUOUS VIDEO AND FILM 
SERVICE TO THE BBC SINCE 1979 
OWNER OPERATED 

24 HOUR SERVICE 



BVW-50PS AND VA-500P'S 
PVM 8044Q HI-RES MONITORS 
6-48mm ULTRA-WIDE ZOOM 
REMOTE ZOOM CONTROLS 
2-STAGE 4X4 MATTE BOXES 
SACHTLER 20 III TRIPODS WITH 
2-STAGE CARBONFIBRE LEGS 
TRANSPORTATION VANS 



PHILGRIES 

TEL: (516)741-2463 
FAX: (516)741-4333 
PAGER: (212)951-1493 



BOB BLAUVELT 

TEL: (718)634-6954 
FAX: (718)634-6954 
PAGER: (21 2) 61 6-781 5 



continued from page 21 

But he admits that what's functional isn't 
always a finished piece. "Sometimes re- 
search is just getting the parts out of the box 
and making it work. That's often a signifi- 
cant accomplishment." he says. 

Producing a piece seems a small price to 
pay for a minimum of 10-weeks access to 
pricey computer equipment and trained 
staff, plus room and board. The centerpiece 
of Banff's hardware is the number-crunch- 
ing Silicon Graphics ONYX, a $300,000 
computer which makes the VR environ- 
ments possible. "Artists are usually in a state 
of desperation by the time they get here," 
says MacLeod. Without Banff, he believes 
they would never have access to the equip- 
ment or support staff necessary for their 
pieces. Laurel estimates that her VR piece 
Placeholder would have cost over $1 million. 
Not everyone pounces impatiently on the 
hardware, however. Resident Toni Dove 
didn't think she wanted to work in VR 
when she first went to Banff to attend the 
Bioapparatus symposium in 1991. Afterward, 
she applied to the Art and Virtual Environ- 
ments program with a theater piece and 
eventually became convinced that the piece 
would be interesting as a VR installation. 
Initially she was nervous about working in 
virtual reality. "It was extremely hyped," she 
recalls, "and I didn't want to be the shock 
troops for the next Nintendo game." 

Although she says her piece Archaeology of 
a Mother Tongue is functional, she describes 
it as a work-in-progress. "We got a skeleton 
up and running," she says of her piece, 
which takes a viewer through three 3D-pro- 
jected environments. But after four months 
of working with over a half-dozen engineers 
and programmers, she still didn't have a 
chance to work out issues of interactivity. 

The high-tech hardware and resulting 
complexity of the pieces can be a blessing 
and a curse. To some extent, Banff's hard- 
ware, particularly ONYX, limits where the 
works can be shown. Since most arts institu- 
tions only have access to low-end comput- 
ers, building a piece around the ONYX lim- 
its future exhibition. Like many Virtual 
Environment residents, Brenda Laurel has 
reluctantly accepted that her piece will 
probably never be shown outside Banff. Not 
only is Placeholder hardware-specific, the 
programming code is very fragile and the 
engineers who worked on it are the only 
people who know how to run it. 

For all its relative lavishness, Banff s 
resources are limited and the program has 
been stretched to capacity by the number of 
technically demanding projects it took on. 
Doug MacLeod reports that he's learned a 
lot. "Trying to do eight projects in two years 
was too much," he admits, so he is going to 
scale back. Next cycle, MacLeod says, Banff 
will workshop three to four projects and 
produce just two. 

AFl's Advanced Technology Program, 2021 North- 
western Ave., L.A., CA 90027; (213) 856-7690. 
Banff Centre, Box 1020, Banff, Alberta, Canada, T0L 
0C0; (403) 762-6100. 



58 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 58 



ELECTRIC FILM 






"Tne Beta SP and Hi-8 specialists" ELECTRIC FILM 

87 Lafayette Street, NYC, 10013 

tel: 212/925-3429 fax: 212/219-0248 



Jv 



s 



ANCHOR/ 

NEWS DESK 

SETS 



VIDEO- 
CONFERENCING 



SATELLITE 
MEDLATOURS 

I 

CORPORATE 
VIDEOS 

DOCUMENTARIES 

BUSINESS 
TELEVISION 



NTV 

is a division of 

NTV 

International 

Corporation 



CONTACT: 

ElyseRabinowitz 212-489-8390 

NTV STUDIO PRODUCTIONS 

50 ROCKEFELLER PLAZA 

NYC 10020 



VIDEO 
PRODUCTION 

T 
PRODUCTION 

SATELLITE 
SERVICES 





59 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 59 



Computerized 
Editing 

3/4" SP 
Betacam SP 

Character Generator 
Hi-8 to Betacam SP dubs 
Beta SP to 3/4" window dubs 

24 hour access 
Rates start at 

S15/hr 




1123 Broadway, Suite 814 
New York, New York 10010 

21 2-228-4254 



d ° d d ° d 
d d ' d d d d 

/ d . * d 
<> d d d 
d d d d 

WE'RE THERE 

EVEN WHEN 

IT RAINS 



D.R. REIFF 
& ASSOCIATES 

ENTERTAINMENT INSURANCE 

BROKERS 

320 WEST 57 ST 

NEW YORK, NY 10019 

(212)603-0231 FAX (212)247-0739 



HI-8 MUST BE TREATED AS CAMERA NEGATIVE 

New York's Most Complete and affordable HI-8 Professionals 

HI- 8 or 3/4" SP to BETA SP or 3/4" SP frame accurate editing 

ON-LINE HI-8 FOR BROADCAST 
TO BETACAM SP (BVW 75) 



TIME CODE INSERTION 

DUBBING TO BETA SP With the Best Drop-out 

Compensation available 

DUBBING TO 3/4"SP WITH TC WINDOW 

COMPLETE PRO HI-8 PRODUCTION PACKAGES 

NEW SONY EVW- 300 with ARRI Fresnel lighting kit 
SONY V 5000 - Portable DAT 

NEW EXPANDED LOCATION WITH 3/4"SP 
OFF- LINE FACILITY 

THANK YOU TO OUR CLIENTS: J.Walter Thompson, Business week, 
^ The Lintas Agency, MTV, ABC, CBS, NBC. Fox 5, Time Life, 

^^ Antenne 2, RAI, and Independent people like you! 

^L ARC PICTURES INC 

^ ^666 BROADWAY SUITE 405, NEW YORK. N.Y. 1 0012 
[^ TFI (912) 982 1101 FAX (212) 982 1168 



that lets you know everything that's 
online," Jones explains. "It's highly wild." 

One unusual option last May was 
David Blair's feature-length experimental 
video Wax, Or the Discovery of Television 
Among the Bees. With little hope of get- 
ting picked up by the increasingly conser- 
vative and series-minded public television 
system and limited opportunities on the 
video art exhibition circuit, Blair started 
publicizing Wax through the USENET, 
the Internet's extensive bulletin board. 
Through the net, he came in contact 
with Vince Bilotta, "a kinda crazy guy 
who used to be the Amiga dealer in the 
East Village, then got hooked on commu- 
nications," says Blair. At the time, he 
recalls, Bilotta's company, Amphibian, 
was trying to set up a "parallel image 
internet" with fat connects to the real 
Internet that would be able to link post- 
production houses in New York with 
places like the Cinecite Digital Film 
Center, Kodak's digital imaging and spe- 
cial effects facility in Burbank. Bilotta 
arranged for the necessary bandwidth for 
a full-screen MBONE netcast of Wax, 
and on May 23, 1993, the first feature- 
length fiction video went out over the 
Internet. 

Since people have to log on, Blair 
knows exactly how many tuned in: 
"There were about 10 or 12 [sites] that 
watched, mostly from Australia, Finland, 
and the West Coast." He adds, "You 
have to remember that this could only be 
seen at research labs, and it was after 
hours." Indeed, the netcast was more 
about research and development than 
audience numbers. The New York Times 
even compared it to Alexander Graham 
Bell's legendary moment of triumph, 
when he exclaimed, "Watson, come 
here!" Despite its spare audience, the 
netcast attracted considerable attention. 
In addition to the New York Times' cover- 
age, Blair spread the word about Wax 
and the netcast on USENET, as well as 
on MBONE's own program list, and the 
Electronic Frontier Foundation's "In- 
teresting People" bulletin board discus- 
sion group. The online promotion "has 
helped me a lot," says Blair, who reports 
healthy sales of Wax video cassettes. 

When discussing video on the Inter- 
net, it's production more than distribu- 
tion that interests Blair. "I wanted to be 
able to model worlds on a small computer 
at home," says the videomaker, "and then 
run them at a distance on a big comput- 
er." It's a system already being explored at 
the high-end. "For Jurassic Park, Amblin 
Entertainment rented Silicon Graphics 
machines all over the state for block peri- 
ods of time," then piped these images to a 
central location. In Blair's view, the possi- 
bilities of video over the Internet are just 
beginning to be realized. "Everything you 
do with imaging, you do with text first. 
Looks at MUDs and MOOs — these are 



60 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 60 



multi-user text tools. When you add video, 
it becomes multimedia." 

One step down the technological ladder 
from MBONE is a software package devel- 
oped at Cornell University called CU- 
SeeMe, which transmits video without 
audio. You log on to an Internet number 
and, presto, a small screen pops up with live 
black-and-white video at about 24 fps. The 
program is smart enough to drop out frames 
when the traffic on the Internet gets heavy. 
The result is a low-resolution video image 
that lacks fluidity but is still recognizable; 
such a deletion process in audio would 
make speech unintelligible, which is one 
reason why CU-SeeMe does without audio, 
at least for the moment. 

So how does one "hear" with CU-SeeMe? 
There are two options: placing a telephone 
conference call or typing on the computer 
keyboard, which produces a text scroll on 
the screen. "We used to hold up boards," 
says George Brett of the Clearinghouse for 
Networked Information Discovery and 
Retrieval (CNIDR), recalling the program's 
beginnings less than a year ago. What's so 
quaintly limiting in CU-SeeMe, however, 
also keeps things simple enough to allow 
many more people to use it than MBONE. 
To receive video, one merely needs a Mac 
(even a humble Powerbook or Classic will 
do), a standard modem and telephone line, 
and the free CU-SeeMe software, available 
for research and educational purposes from 
gated.cornell.edu. Under the video directo- 
ry, one will find two versions of CU- 
SeeMe — one that works on regular Macs 
and another for the new AV Macs — plus an 
information file. 

To send video, one only has to add a 
camera and a video spigot. Columbia 
University's deputy vice president of 
Academic Information Systems, Vace 
Kundakci, set up his system for just $600. 
The empty hardware boxes are still lying 
around Kundakci's office: There's the 
SuperMac Digital Video Card, which runs 
just under $400, and Nippon's $200 
TeleCamera, a cigarette-box-sized unit that 
sits on top of Kundakci's computer (or, in 
Brett's case, on a tiny tripod purchased from 
the camping outfitters REI) . 

Kundakci covers the blackboard with 
lines and arrows as he explains how the 
routing system for a CU-SeeMe video con- 
ference works. At the center is a reflector 
address — that is, a computer terminal where 
all the participants in a video conference 
will send their signals and from which 
they're reflected back. As chair of the tech- 
nical subcommittee for NYSERNet's board 
of directors, Kundakci and his fellow com- 
mittee members, who are scattered around 
New York State, have taken to meeting on 
the Internet using CU-SeeMe. It's easy and 
much cheaper than airfare. 

The real experts in CU-SeeMe, however, 
aren't found in any university. They're in 
junior high school and, at ages 10 to 14, 



FILM/VIDEO ARTS 

THE ALTERNATIVE FOR INDEPENDENT FILM AND VIDEOMAKERS 



Production Equipment 


& 


Postproduction Facilities 


Arriflex 16SR 




Audio equipment 


Sony CCD VX3 Hi-8 




16mm flatbed Editing 


Canon LI Hi8 




Optical printer 


Sony V5000 Hi8 




3/4", VHS, and Hi8 to 3/4" rough cut rooms 


Tripods 




Digital Effects On-Line 


Lighting kits 




Betacam SP On-Line 



Film/Video Arts 

a nonprofit media arts center 

817 Broadway at 12th St. 

New York NY 10003-4797 • Tel: 212/673-9361 • Fax: 212/475-3467 



Call for a free brochure of spring workshops 






I s £ f a 





m *> *m 








AMERICAN 
[ MONTAGE 

FILM AND VIDEO 


r 


'it 




r — ~ 

CREATIVE PRODUCTION 
AND POST-PRODUCTION 

AFFORDABLE OFFLINE/ 
ONLINE EDITING 

INDEPENDENTS 
AND COMMERCIAL 

At LRP Video 

305 East 47th Street 
NY, NY 10017 
(212) 759-0822 

(Formerly Video Deal) 






Video Viewing 
1/2 & 3/4 Video Editing 
Video Cassette Duplication 
Film to Tape Transfers 
Slides to Tape Transfers 
16mm Projector Rental 
S-8 Processing 



Machine Cleaned, Optically Tested, & 

GUARANTEED FOR MASTERING 

3/4" Used Video Cassettes 

NEW, MAJOR BRAND VIDEO CASSETTES 
AT DISCOUNT PRICES 



RAFIK 



TAPE, LEADER & SUPPLIES 



Betacam SP Camera Packages 

The latest Broadcast Camera Packages at great rates 
Sony BVW-400 lightweight Camcorders 

"Hyper- HAD" Chips, Canon 8.5 X 14 Zoom lens w/ Matte Box, Sachtler 18 Tripod, 
VA-500 Playback Unit or BVW-35s w/Component 26 Pin Adapter 

Sony BVW-507 Camcorders 

Sachtler 18 Tripod, 8021 Monitor, 
VA-500 Playback Unit 

Sony BVP-7s & BVW-35s 

Sachtler 18 Tripod, 8021 Monitor 

Audio and Lighting Kits 




THE VIDEO TEAM, INC. 

Call (212) 629-8010 



61 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 61 



have logged on more hours with CU-SeeMe 
than anyone else. These are the students 
participating in the Global Schoolhouse 
Project (GSP), a program of the 20-year-old 
nonprofit Global SchoolNet Foundation, 
which began in 1992 in schools in 
Knoxville, TN; Arlington, VA; Oceanville, 
CA; and London. (Next year 17 schools will 
participate.) "It is designed to integrate 
Internet tools into the science curriculum," 
says Brett, who acts as the program's princi- 
pal investigator and technical advisor. In a 
sense, CU-SeeMe was developed for this 
project. What had been a point-to-point 
video conferencing tool was taken a step 
further to accommodate the needs of the 
Global Schoolhouse Project, which wanted 
to simultaneously link students at several 
schools. Now the software allows six video 
windows to be open at once and permits 
approximately 20 additional sites to watch. 

During its pilot year, the Global School- 
house students worked on a joint project: 
pollution in the groundwater. They went 
about their tasks — field testing, public sur- 
veys, research on environmental laws and 
regulations — then reconvened each week in 
front of their CU-SeeMe terminals to share 
their findings, sometimes venturing into 
simple multimedia displays by showing pic- 
tures and transmitting three- to four-minute 
videos from their fieldwork. 

Periodically students got to interview sci- 
entists via the Internet on special CU- 



SeeMe "Talk Shows." In turn, a 
panel of scientists quizzed the stu- 
dents about their projects in an 
online science and environmental 
fair. But at other times, the adults' 
questions were more about CU- 
SeeMe and the Global Schoolhouse, 
as at last year's National Academy of 
Science conference, where students 
instructed the scientists during a live 
demo over the net. 

At Penn State, a CU-SeeMe kiosk 
is set up outside the education office. 
"People are constantly going in and 
out," says Yvonne Andres, a teacher 
at Oceanside and Global 
Schoolhouse curriculum director. "They'll 
walk by and see the screen, look at it, and 
realize they're not looking at a video; 
there are really people at the other end, 
looking at them and waving to them. My 
students would type back, 'Hi, who are 
you?' The people would be so puzzled 
they wouldn't know what to do, so my 
students would write, 'Type on the key- 
board! Tell us who you are, what your 
job is, and what you're doing.'" (For more 
information on tlhe Global Schoolhouse 
Project, contact andresyv(acerf.net.) 

Soon, even the need to type will disap- 
pear. CU-SeeMe's developers are hoping 
to introduce sound within the year. How 
long will it be before the technological 
gap between MBONE and CU-SeeMe is 




Junior high science students commu- 
nicate via a CU-SeeMe video confer- 
ence on the Internet. 

Photo: Yvonne Marie Andres 

bridged? "Realistically, I'd say 18 to 24 
months, at the earliest," George Brett 
replies. While this might seem a long time 
for those developing the technology, for 
producers and distributors it means that a 
new image transmission tool is right around 
the corner. "Things happen real fast," Brett 
concedes. "Last January CU-SeeMe was 
point-to-point. Because of the Global 
Schoolhouse's saying they wanted multi- 
point, they did that reflector business — that 
happened in five or six months. We're hop- 
ing that in two to three months from now 
we'll have the MS-DOS version. Those are 
pretty good advances in just a short time." 

Patricia Thomson is editor of The Independent. 



3/4" VIDEO & POST PRODUCTION 






Imknti 



I D 



Computerized Editing 3/4"x3/4 SP 
2 machine or 3 machine 

$45.00/hr Sale 

on A/B Roll with editor 

Addresstrack or audio TC 

Digital Effects, Switcher, GPI, 

Hi Res, Character Generator 

& Toaster 2.0 w Syquest 

Animation, Flying Logos, 

2D & 3D Graphics 

SunRize STUDIO 16 
16 bit Digital Audio Editing 

TC striping, Windowdubs, Copies 
Transfers from HI 8 & S-VHS, Dubs 
Studio & Location shoots 

Tel: 212 219-9240 
Fax: 212 966-5618 




MIND FIELD PRODUCTIONS 

THE MULTIMEDIA SOURCE 

Macintosh Quadra Graphics, 3D Rendering, 

Interactive Authoring Tools and 

Desktop Publishing 

Video Production 

Still Photography 

at a competi tive price 

Park Slope 

Brooklyn, Afew York 

(718) 398-2805 



62 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 62 



are not covered. (2) CIGNA Access (indem- 
nity plan/HMO combination): This plan has a 
provision which allows you to go outside the 
network whenever you wish to a doctor of 
your choice. The expenses incurred outside 
the network are subject to an annual $300 
deductible, 70/30% co-insurance and an annu- 
al maximum out-of-pocket cost of $3,000 plus 
deductible. However, if you remain within the 
network, you pay only $5 for each office visit 
and hospitalization is 100% covered. 

Applications must be received by TEIGIT 
no later than March 2; coverage may begin 
March 1 or April 1 as you prefer. 

To receive detailed information, including 
premium rates and an application, call TEIG- 
IT at (800) 886-7504; fax: (212) 888-4916.; 
845 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022. 

MEMBERABILIA 

Michael Uys and Lexy Lovell have received a 
grant from the New York Council for the 
Humanities for their documentary Riding the 
Rails: Children of the Great Depression. Uys and 
Lowell have chosen their subjects from over 
2,500 letters by former tramps who rode 
freight trains during the 1930s. 

Among 16 multicultural television projects 
that received funding from the Corporation 
for Public Broadcasting are several works by 
AIVF members: Blackside Classic Children's 
Tales, a 10-part series featuring computer-ani- 
mated folktales, by Henry Hampton and Judy 
Richardson; Conjure Women, a documentary 
on African-American female artists, by 
Demetria Royals, Yvonne Smith, and Louise 
Diamond; Litany: The Life and Work of Audre 
Lorde, an examination of the writer's life and 
works, by Michelle Parkerson and Ada Gay 
Griffin; Life with the Bartletts, the story of three 
young boys brought to Connecticut in the 
1870s under the auspices of Dr. Yung Wing's 
Chinese educational mission, by Peter Wang 
and Ray Blanco; Tierra: A Dramatic Film of 
Tomas River's Novel, about a poor Mexican- 
American boy and his farmworker family, by 
Paul Espinosa; and Malcolm X: Make It Plain 
by Henry Hampton. 

A Day at a Time, a film by Chuck Schultz 
and William Garcia, received a Crystal Heart 
award at the 1993 Heartland Film Festival. 

Barbara Sykes-Dietze's video Sketching a 
Motion was recently purchased by the educa- 
tion department at New York's Museum of 
Modern Art. A second video, Kalyian, was 
screened during Intimate Technology, an invi- 
tational video- and computer-art exhibition 
sponsored by Kansas State University. 

Member Michelle Handelman has been 
keeping busy. Her film Homophobia Is Known 
to Cause Nightmares screened at the N.Y. 
Experimental Gay and Lesbian Festival. She 
also performed in Lynn Hershman's film 
Virtual Love, which screened at the Mill Valley 
Film Festival. 

Benjamin Shapiro's half-hour documentary 
Home Across the Water, about the history and 
struggles for survival of the Gullah communi- 
ties in Georgia and South Carolina, received 
first prize at the AFI/Sony Visions of U.S. con- 
test, a blue ribbon at the American Film and 
Video Festival, and a Bronze Apple at the 
National Educational Film Festival. 



CAMERAS LIKE THIS 

don't have to cost you an arm and a leg* 




And we're serious about that. 



As a production company owned and operated by freelance camera people, 
we understand the particular pressures of working with fluctuating budgets. So we are 

willing to work with you to negotiate rental contracts on a job by job basis. Our 
convenient Union Square location and twenty-four hour beeper service make pick-up 

and drop-off a breeze. So give us a call and let's see what we can work out. 




VNC'HCAMCKACiROI I' 



Cloutier, O'Connor and Associates provides crews and equipment to foreign and 
domestic broadcast clients. 

(212)505-1911 



YALE 

LABORATORY, INC. 

1509 NORTH GORDON STREET 

HOLLYWOOD, CA 90028 

213-464-6181 

800-955-YALE 



CUSTOM COLOR 
NEGATIVE SERVICES 

16 COLOR REVERSAL 

16 BW REVERSAL & NEGATIVE 

SUPER EIGHT E-160 BW 

SUPER EIGHT IN SALES & RENTALS 

FILM TO VIDEO TRANSFERS 

BETACAM SP 

RUSH SERVICES 
MAIL ORDERS 

MC & VISA 



Synchronicity 
Sound 

Digital Audio Workstation with 
Video & Film Lock up 

Full Sound Track Preparation & 
Editing 

Dialogue, Effects, Music Editing 
& Sound Design 

Digital Production Recording 

Multi-Format Mixing Facility 

Interformat Sound Transfers 

Overnite T.C. Stripes & Window Dubs 

AIVF Member & Student Discount 

611 Broadway, Cable Bldg., Suite 907 H 
New York, NY 10012 

(212) 254-6694 
Fax: (212) 254-5086 



63 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 



THE INDEPENDENT 63 



MerncMnancia 



AIVF GOES ON-LINE 

AIVF is currently working in cooperation with 
several alternative media organizations to set 
up a permanent home for our members to net- 
work and exchange information on the 
America Online network. We hope to provide 
specifics in the next issue of The Independent, 
so watch this space for details. 

For the months of January and February, 
however, Mark Abbate of Abbate Video has 
generously allowed us to use his bulletin board 
to get started; readers wishing to discuss issues 
raised in this issue — including the new tech- 
nologies, their implications for the indepen- 
dent field, and how to plan for the future — 
can join our discussion group by accessing the 
"aivf ' area under the keyword "abbate." By the 
end of February, when we hopefully will have 
a permanent address, you'll find a signpost in 
the Abbate bulletin board directing you to 
AIVF's new keyword. 

If you have been thinking about going on- 
line but have put it off, now is a good opportu- 
nity to take advantage of America Online's 
introductory offer of 10 free on-line hours to 
try out the software, while networking with 
fellow AIVF members. America Online's toll- 
free subscription number is (800) 827-6364. 
Once you are on-line, pull down "GO TO" 
from the menu at the top of the screen, and 
select "key word"; at the prompt, type abbate 
(that's 2 "b"s) to access Mark's bulletin board, 
then select the aivf option. 

We are very excited about the possibilities 
that going on-line presents us as an organiza- 
tion attempting to reach members outside of 
New York. We will be able to make many ser- 
vices available on-line, as well as giving our 
members the opportunity to connect with one 
another, exchange information, and share 
experiences without geographic limitations. 
Join us in January and February on America 
Online as we begin to engage in making the 
new technology work for us. 

AIVF BOARD NOMINATIONS 

It's not too soon to begin thinking about nom- 
inations for the AIVF board of directors, who 
will be elected at the annual membership 
meeting on April 22. Board members are 
elected to a 2-year term of office; the board 
gathers four times a year in NYC for 2-day 
meetings (AIVF pays the travel costs if you 
live outside the City). 

We have an active board; members must be 
prepared to set aside adequate time to fulfill 
board responsibilities, which include: 

• Attendance at all board meetings and 



participation in conference calls when neces- 
sary; 

• Preparation for meetings by reading 
advance materials sent by staff; 

• Active participation in one or more com- 
mittees as determined by the organization's 
needs and as requested by the board chair or 
executive director; fulfillment of commitments 
within agreed-upon deadlines; 

• General support for the executive direc- 
tor and staff as needed. 

Board nominations must be made and sec- 
onded by current AIVF members in good 
standing. You may nominate yourself. Student 
members are not eligible for election to the 
board. Nominations not seconded in advance 
may be seconded at the membership meeting 
in April. 

To make a nomination, send or fax us the 
name, address, and telephone numbers of the 
(1) nominee, (2) nominator, and (3) member 
seconding the nomination. We cannot accept 
nominations over the phone. There will be 
more information about the membership 
meeting in coming issues of The Independent; 
watch this space for details. 

LOOKING TOWARD THE PAST 

For the special 20th anniversary issue of The 
Independent to be published in June 1993, 
AIVF and FIVF are looking to catch up with 
the organizations' original members. If you are 
one — or know the whereabouts of anyone 
familiar with the early days of AIVF and 
FIVF — please call Michele Shapiro at (212) 
473-3400. 

CALIFORNIA HEALTH INSURANCE 
ALERT 

Members who are residents of California will 
have an unusual opportunity to buy medical 
insurance during a 30-day enrollment period 
beginning February 1 without providing evi- 
dence of insurability. 

Recently issued California Insurance 
Department regulations require CIGNA, 
through TEIGIT, to offer guaranteed medical 
insurance to all California AIVF members and 
their families, regardless of their medical histo- 
ries. Members may select one of two plans: (1) 
CIGNA Health Plan (HMO): Applicants will 
be provided with a guide from which to select 
a primary care physician for each family mem- 
ber. Members pay $15 for each office visit and 
$250 for each hospital stay. Generic drugs are 
$10. The network includes all types of special- 
ists. Expenses incurred outside the network 

continued on page 63 



FILY^JEO 

JL M O N T H L v\/ 



March: 
April: 



IN UPCOMING ISSUES: 

Regional Spotlight on San Francisco, the West Coast's haven for independents. 
More on the Information Superhighway: Nine views from 
the independent media field 



Upcoming Events 



TAX SEMINAR 

It's almost that time again. But this year 
when April 15 rolls around, you can be 
prepared. Since AIVF recognizes that 
independent mediamakers have special 
needs in filing annual income taxes, the 
organization has organized its annual 
seminar around issues of interest at tax 
time. CPAs specializing in this area will 
provide advice to AIVF members. Space 
is limited; call (212) 473-3400 to reserve 
your place today. 

Where: ATVF Offices 

When.-January 13, 7:00 pm 
Cost: $ 10 Members/$ 15 Others 



MEET AND GREET SESSIONS 

Meet and Greet sessions enable AIVF 
members to gather in an informal setting 
to meet funders, producers, program- 
mers, distributors, and others and dis- 
cuss their work and issues of importance 
to the field. Both of the following events 
take place at the AIVF office, 625 
Broadway, 9th fl., New York, NY. They 
are open to AIVF members only. Each 
session is limited to 30 attendees. The 
sessions are free of charge; RSVP essen- 
tial. Call (212) 473-3400 to reserve 
your place. 

BRUM BURRES 

Program Director, Human Rights 
Watch Film Festival 

The festival premieres in New York in 
May; selected films and videos are pre- 
sented in other U.S. sites throughout 
the year. Features, documentaries, 
shorts, and animation are all considered 
for inclusion. This informal get-together 
will allow members to hear about the 
festival's general selection procedures 
and special programs planned for this 
year. 

Date: Wednesday, January 12 
Time: 7:00 pm 

JAMES YEE 

Executive Director, ITVS 
ITVS is now the single most important 
source of production funds for alterna- 
tive and independent work intended for 
public television broadcast. Yee will dis- 
cuss changes he is instituting at ITVS 
this year and new programmatic initia- 
tives and funding priorities. He will also 
engage members in a general policy dis- 



Date: Monday, March 1 
Time: 7:00 p.m. 



64 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994 64 



What if... 




□ Your technical equipment 
broke down in the middle 
of filming? 



□ There's an injury or property 
damage on site? 

□ You're sued for film content, 
unauthorized use, or failure 
to obtain clearance? 

□ What if you're not insured? 




INSURANCE BROKERS 



ENTERTAINMENT/MEDIA INSURANCE SPECIALISTS 

Providing short and long-term coverage when you need it to reshoot, repair, and 

protect your products and time. 

CALL FOR A FREE QUOTE TODAY! 

1-800-638-8791 

7411 Old Branch Avenue, P.O. Box 128, Clinton, MD 20735 



SIGNED. SEALED & DELIVERED 




From signings to sermons, the historical images you want can be found at Archive Films and Archive Photos. 

More than 9,000 hours of historical stock footage and 20,000,000 historical photos now available. 

Call or fax for a free brochure and sample reel. 



Archive Films 



Archive Phdtds 



Stock Footage Library 



Stock Photo Library 



800/876-51 15 Shots you won't find 800/888-7717 

212/620-3955 Fax 212/645-2137 ouervwhere else 212/620-3955 Fax 212/645-2137 

DepL IND, 530 West 25th Street, New York, New York 10001 



POSTPRODUCTIOW 


VHS • HI-8 • SIS- 3/4"- 3/4" SP • BETACAM SP - ONE INCH 


*nn/i.iwflMo. *nn/ N|,J / fl|,0 u 6inn/""sp, 

Yh 1 1 / S-VHS, VMS. HI-8. Vll 11/3/4 " SP. BETACAM SP Y / 11/ BETACAM SP 
UUf 3/4"SPT0 8VU 950 SP UU/ T08VU950SP 1 L U / A/8 ROI I 10 1' 


HI-8, SIS and VHS included in ALL RATES. Also included DVE, CHYRON and 

MANY EXTRAS. NETWORK CREDITED EDITOR and GRAPHIC ARTIST. Most 

KNOWLEDGEABLE STALE in the industry. Clients include NATIONAL BROADCAST and 

CABLE NETWORKS, FORTUNE 400 companies and hundreds ol INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS. 


WINDOW DUBS • SLIDE TRANSFERS • OFFLINE SELF-SERVICE • STAGE 
with hard eye and PRODUCTION SERVICES • 


dupucati 


FAST SERVICE • BROADCAST DUALITY • GREAT PRICES 


J^UARK 212-8D7-7711 


'US J %/ 1 i^i Wf\ w » m sra 

^^<L T ■ mJ WAJ NEW UK, NEW UK 10001 











NON-PROFIT ORG. 
U.S. POSTAGE 

PAID 

HANOVER, PA 

Permit No. 4 




Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film 
625 Broadway, 9th floor 
NewYork, NY 10012 



Spotlight 



MARCH 1994 




Outrageously Inspired Mediamakers 




THE KQED CONNECTION 

50 Years of Experimental Media 



) "74470"801K ' 6 



03 



-oundtition tor Inck 





The WPA Film Library Is More Than A Stock Footage 

Source For Historically Significant Moving Images. Its A 

Documentary Record Of Sublime And Outrageous 

Lifestyles; A Living Resource For The Preservation Of 

Archival Ideas; A Welcome Escape Into A Past That Is 

Filled With Wonder, Ambition, And Romance... 




To get your free copy of our incredible new 150-page Stock Footage 
Reference Guide and our 1993 sample reel, call us toll-free at 

1-800-777-2223 



HISTORIC FOOTAGE - WORLDWIDE RIGHTS 



The WPA Film Library 



5525 West 159th Street - Oak Forest - Illinois - 60452 - Phone 708.535.1540 - Fax 708.535.1541 




March 

23 - 26 

1994 



■Anthony Slide "Joan Gratz 

Author/Director Tne Silent Feminists 1993 Academy Award Winner, Best Animated Short Film 

■ Mary Jane Coleman ■ Ellen Piskoiski 

25 Years of Films from Sinking Creek Director Misoginist Fishmonger, Onion SkinBlues 



Broadcasting/Cinema 
UNCG 
Greensboro, NC 



910-334-5360 




Hotels offering special rates for CFVF attendees: 

Biltmore Greensboro Park Lane Greensboro Travelodge 

800-332-0305 910-294-4565 800-255-3050 



Sponsored by UNCG, Greensboro Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau, United Arts 
Counci I of Greensboro, the NC Arts Council, and the Grass Roots Arts Program. 

For information call Greensboro Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau at 800-344-2282. 



March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 1 




• (Ill 
I 





San Francisco has always been 

a great town to shoot. 

Now, the City's versatility is more 

accessible than ever. 

An expanded Mayor's Film Office. 

Crews to fit all production needs. 

Excellent police location services. 

World-class accommodations and restaurants. 

San Francisco. 
The Only Limit Is Your Imagination. 

Lorrae Rominger, San Francisco Film 

and Video Arts Commission 

(415)554-6244 fax 554-6160 




MEO 

O N T H L yV/ 



March 1994 

VOLUME 17, NUMBER 2 



Publisher: Ruby Lerner 

Editor: Patricia Thomson 

Managing Editor: Michele Shapiro 

Editorial Assistant: Sue Murray 

Intern: Mitch Albert 

Contributing Editors: Kathryn Bowser, Barbara Osborn, 

Karen Rosenberg. Catherine Saalfield 

Art Director: Daniel Christmas 

Advertising: Laura D. Davis (212) 473-3400 

National Distribution: Bernhard DeBoer (201) 667- 

9300; Ingram Periodicals (800) 627-6247 

Printed in the USA by Sheridan Press 

The Independent Film & Video Monthly (ISSN 
7447080114) is published monthly except February 
and September by the Foundation for Independent 
Video and Film (FIVF), a nonprofit, tax-exempt educa- 
tional foundation dedicated to the promotion of video 
and film. Subscription to the magazine ($45/yr individ- 
ual; $25/yr student; $75/yr library; $100/yr nonprofit 
organization; $150/yr. business/industry) is included in 
annual membership dues paid to the Association for 
Independent Video and Filmmakers [AIVF], the national 
trade association of individuals involved in independent 
video and film, 625 Broadway, 9th fl., NY, NY 
10012. Application to mail at Second-class postage 
rates is pending at New York, NY and additional mail- 
ing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes 
to The Independent, 625 Broadway, 9th fl., 
New York, NY 10012. 

Publication of The Independent is made possible in 
part with public funds from the New York State Council 
on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, a 
federal agency. 

Publication of any advertisement in The 
Independent does not constitute an endorsement. FIVF 
is not responsible for any claims made in an ad. 

Letters to The Independent should be addressed to 
the editor. Letters may be edited for length. 

All contents are copyright of the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film, Inc. Reprints require writ- 
ten permission and acknowledgement of the article's 
previous appearance in The Independent. ISSN 0731- 
5198. The Independent is indexed in the Alternative 
Press Index. 

© Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. 
1994 

AIVF/FIVF staff members: Ruby Lerner, executive direc- 
tor; Kathryn Bowser, administrative/festival bureau 
director;Pamela Calvert, membership/program director; 
Judah Friedlander, membership associate; Susan 
Kennedy, development director; John McNair, informa- 
tion services associate; Martha Wallner, advocacy coor- 
dinator; Arsenio Assin, receptionist; interns: Esther Bell, 
Melissa Scott, Elizabeth Ip. 

AIVF/FIVF legal counsel: Robert I. Freedman, Esq., 
Leavy, Rosensweig & Hyman 

AIVF/FIVF Board of Directors: Eugene Aleinikoff,* Joan 
Braderman, Loni Ding (vice president), Barbara 
Hammer, Ruby Lerner (ex officio), Dai Sil Kim-Gibson, 
Jim Klein (treasurer), W. Wilder Knight II, Beni Matias, 
Robb Moss, Robert Richter (president), Norman 
Wang,* Barton Weiss (secretary), Debra Zimmerman 
(chair). 
* FIVF Board of Directors only 



THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



Cover Photo: Carl Wilmington, 

courtesy San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau 



In This issue 



A Regional Spotlight On 



12 






For the Heart Of It by Robert Anbian 

The Bay Area's media community champions diversity, social justice, and, at times, the right to be out 
rageously combative. A relic of sixties idealism, perhaps. But somehow the supportive environment is 
thriving in the nineties. 

[Playing San Francisco by Robert anbian 

An exhibition primer for the Bay Area. 

The KQED Conundrum by Michael fox 

ipriend or foe? KQED has been both during its long and rocky relationship with the area's independents 
■\ new station president and the Living Room Festival series may be harbingers for better times ahead. 

50 Years of Experimental Media by albert kuchesty 

gSrom The Potted Psalm to X-Factor, experimental film and video have been identified with the 
y Area, and with good reason. ^**^w. 

Ultiple Identities by Christine Tamblyn 
Rulticulturalism is personified in San Francisco, with its diverse Latino, Asian, and Black communities, 
and its historic embrace of gays and lesbians. Not surprisingly, much Bay Area independent media 
^dresses the politics of identity. 

e Queen of Festivals by susan Gerhard 

It's the oldest and largest of queer film festivals. But age has not mellowed Frameline's International 
Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, which remains committed to experimental and challenging work. 



30 Bay Area Festivals 



by Lauri Tanner 



47 
49 



Talking Heads 

Craig Baldwin, No-Budget Visionary BY chuck Stephens 

John Knoop, Cinematographer & Documentarian by lissa gibbs 

Lynne Sachs, Experimental Filmmaker BY susan Gerhard 

Coleen Smith, Media Griot by linda Gibson 

Valerie Soe, Video Artist by heather mackey 

In and Out of Production: From San Francisco 

by Mitch-Albert and Michele Shapiro 

Letters 

Media News 

Remains of the Day: San Fran Producers Settle Dispute with 

Nova over Czar Footage BY sue Murray 

No Short Cuts for L.A.'s Fellini Theater by julia robinson shimuu 

jacKie o nearer: I94b-1993 by zeinabu irene davis 
Sequels 

lESTIVALS by Kathryn Bowser 

Classifieds 53 Notices 60 Memoranda 



March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 3 



Letters 



Third World Views 

To the editor: 

For 25 years, Third World Newsreel has pro- 
duced and distributed films and videos by and 
about people of color and social justice issues, 
providing production and technical assistance 
to independent film- and videomakers and 
community groups, and training new makers 
through our annual workshop program. As one 
of 41 arts organizations participating in the 
NEA Phase One Advancement process, we 
spent the past year analyzing our organization- 
al structure and programs, and developing a 
three-year, long-range plan. As a result of this 
process, we are instituting many changes to 
build a stronger and more effective organiza- 
tion. 

The Independent article on Third World 
Newsreel by Laura Marks ["Growing Pains: 
Third World Newsreel Endures a Bumpy 
Transition," December 1993] could have been 
an honest and accurate report of an arts orga- 
nization in transition run by people of color. 
Instead, wrought with innuendo and false alle- 
gations, the article provides more of a basis for 
a libel suit than insightful analysis or reputable 
journalism. Marks relied heavily on allegations 
by two disgruntled former Newsreel contrac- 
tors, while salient facts were deliberately omit- 
ted. 

The article's claim of the "borrowing of 
funds" by officers is flatly untrue. Marks has 
reworked executive director Griffin's com- 
ments to imply impropriety when none exists. 
All Third World Newsreel films and videos, 
including the Audre Lorde film, are produced 
and owned by the organization. As such, we 
allocate funds as appropriate pursuant to each 
project's budget. Using the phrase "borrowed 
from the organization" is a patent misrepresen- 
tation of the organization's budgeting process. 
In addition, Marks made no attempt to contact 
the corporate secretary, JT Takagi, although 
she targeted her with the false accusation of 
fund misuse. 

In another instance, the article implies that 
the office manager resigned due to the organi- 
zation's problems when, in fact, she left to 
attend graduate school and has since offered 
her volunteer services. 

The gravest allegation made in the article, 
however, concerns the Lawson incident. 
Marks' reporting of the arrest of David Lawson 
from the Black Audio Film Collective left out 
critical aspects of the story which would have 
given readers a more complete understanding 
of the episode. Marks didn't bother to report 
that it was Lawson's violent outburst directed 
at Newsreel workers that led to his arrest. We 
are generally opposed to police intervention. 
But in the midst of a contract dispute between 
Black Audio and Third World Newsreel, 
Lawson arrived unannounced at our offices 
and proceeded to verbally harass several office 
members while taking materials which did not 
legally belong to him. When his verbal threats 
escalated to physical assault, the alarmed staff, 
in fear for their safety, called the police. 
Although objective witnesses (including a UPS 
worker) were available, Marks failed to contact 



them. Her report cites only Lawson and indi- 
viduals who were not present during the vio- 
lence. It is profoundly disturbing that a profes- 
sional journal and journalist would not present 
the full story, nor provide the facts. 

At a time when nonprofit arts organizations, 
particularly those run by people of color, are 
becoming rarer, Third World Newsreel is one 
of the survivors. With the current leadership of 
our steering committee, new staff, and the con- 
tinuing support of independent film/videomak- 
ers, we are making the necessary changes to be 
able to advance the work of and about people 
of color and social justice issues into the 21st 
century. Assessment and evaluation are essen- 
tial to the development of our organization. 
However, Marks' article, which distorts events 
and makes no attempt at full and factual 
reporting, only serves to undermine the work 
and successes of Newsreel. 

Third World NewsreehVeen Cabreros-Sud, 

Kenyatta Tyehimba Funderburk, Ada Gay 

Griffin, Herman Lew, Orinne ]T Takagi 

New York, NY 

To the editor: 

I was dismayed at the gossipy tone of the article 
[on Third World Newsreel] and the imbal- 
anced slant it presented by relying so heavily on 
admittedly disgruntled former employees. 

Although many of the accusations leveled 
against Newsreel may have been based on facts, 
they are not unique to the organization. That 
doesn't excuse the lack of employee benefits or 
the "Mom and Pop" operation style, which was 
definitely inherited from earlier administra- 
tions, but it does point to specific problems that 
many nonprofits have had to address to survive 
and flourish. 

The two points with which I take the most 
issue are the way in which the article hints that 
there was a misappropriation of funds by Griffin 
and Takagi and the lack of refutation of David 
Lawson's vilifying accusations against the orga- 
nization. Since its inception, part of Newsreel's 
mission has been to produce its own documen- 
tary films. Historically, these films and tapes 
were generated by the staff and supported by 
the organization from conception through dis- 
tribution. Upon completion, they belong to 
Newsreel. So to imply that Takagi and Griffin 
were misappropriating funds for "their" films 
displays an incomplete understanding of 
Newsreel's history, structure, and function. 

With regards to Lawson's actions, the writer 
made no attempt to mitigate such a strong, 
potentially damaging statement against artists 
distributing their work with Newsreel. I wish 
she had explored more sides of the actual cir- 
cumstances surrounding that entire unfortu- 
nate event, especially since Woolery was 
involved and felt it necessary to call the police 
to intervene. So even if Lawson and the Black 
Audio Film Collective had legitimate gripes, it 
was rather unfair to reprint such incendiary 
remarks remarks without contextualization. 

Finally, I wish there had been a stronger pre- 
sentation of the vitally important role Newsreel 
has played and continues to play in the lives of 
many, many up-and-coming young filmmakers. 
Despite its problems, the organization has 
served as one of the few (and often the only) 



tool for empowering artists of color with the 
ability to express their voices, realize their 
visions, and fulfill their dreams. 

I applaud Newsreel's courageous efforts to 
correct its mistakes and move forward. I am 
confident the organization will not only survive 
this latest crisis, but will emerge a stronger, 
more powerful organization. 

Daresha Kyi 
Brooklyn, New York 

Laura U. Marks responds: 

Darisha Kyi is right that the transitions being 
experienced at Third World Newsreel are not 
unique among nonprofit media organizations. 
The Independent devoted an article to the 
events at Newsreel because of the organiza- 
tion's importance to the field. I made every 
effort to cover these extremely complex events 
as fairly and completely as possible. This effort 
included long and detailed discussions with 
Ada Gay Griffin, at which time she had ample 
opportunity to respond to each issue addressed 
in the article. I also spoke with Lillian Jimenez 
and many other mediamakers and administra- 
tors in the field. Length constraints forced me 
and The Independent's editors to omit and/or 
condense some of the contextualizing informa- 
tion of this complicated story — a context that 
includes my own history of advocacy for 
Newsreel's work. But I believe the article 
reflects the difficult process of restructuring in 
a way that is respectful and fair to Third World 
Newsreel. 

Expanding on Japan 

To the editor: 

Reading Scott Sinkler's article "Made in Japan: 
Upholding the Japanese Independent Trad- 
ition" [November 1993] made me realize how 
difficult it is to adequately survey any cultural 
heritage. Although offering a much needed 
overview of contemporary media activity in 
Japan, the article is noted for the following 
omissions: 

1 . The major center for independent, exper- 
imental film and video in Japan is Image 
Forum, Tokyo. Founded in the mid-seventies 
by Tomiyama Katsue, Image Forum maintains 
an active film/video exhibition venue, 
film/video production workshops, and publish- 
es a magazine that supports critical debates in 
the visual arts. 

2. Several film- and videomakers were 
noticeably absent from Sinkler's survey. 
Matsumoto Toshio has been making innova- 
tive films, videotapes and feature-length exper- 
imental narratives since the sixties. Based at 
the Kyoto College of Art, Matsumoto's work 
has been screened internationally and was 
acknowledged in David Desser's book Eros Plus 
Massacre. Kawanaka Nabuhiro is considered by 
many one of the most influential contemporary 
filmmakers in Japan. Through his critical writ- 
ing, teaching, and prolific output as a filmmak- 
er, Kawanaka-san has inspired a whole genera- 
tion of contemporary Japanese imagemakers. 
Starting her career in the mid-seventies as an 
experimental filmmaker, Idemitsu Mako has 



4 THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



MVf 



12 REASONS TO 

JOIN AIVF 

TODAY 

1. The Independent 

2. Festival Bureau Services 

3. Information Services 

4. Networking 

5. Advocacy 

6. Discounted Books 

7. Access to Insurance 

8. Professional Service 

Discounts 
9. Seminars 
10. Distribution Info 
11. Members' Tape Library 
12. Other Member Privi- 
leges 



jnHHi 

'.'''■'■..■•":■ 

■■■■"■ 














SB B 












created an impressive number of videotapes 
which, according to film historian Scott 
Nygren, "confront sexual role ideology in 
Japanese society." For example, in The Great 
Mother series, idemitsu brings to our attention 
the fragility of mother-child relationships. 
Idemitsu's work has been shown throughout 
Japan and was included in Barbara London's 
New Video Japan program at the Museum of 
Modern Art. Most noticeably absent, however, 
was Himeda Tadayoshi, who has been actively 
working as a filmmaker for the past 30 years. 
Himeda-san has completed more than 90 films 
about indigenous Japanese cultures. Most 
notable has been his continued involvement in 
preserving the life and cultural heritage of the 
Ainu in northern Japan. 

All of the above-mentioned individuals 
have made significant contributions to our col- 
lective understanding of the moving/electronic 
image. Their inclusion in any survey of con- 
temporary Japanese media is essential. 

Abraham Ravett 

filmmaker and professor of Film/Photo at 

Hampshire College, MA 

Scott Sinkler replies: 

I hope readers won't take my 4,000-word 
overview as comprehensive, but will be stimu- 
lated to learn more. To receive information on 
Japanese independent media or to explore dis- 
tribution possibilities in Japan, please contact 
these organizations: 



Mrs. Keiko Araki 

Pis Film Festival 2-5 Koji-machi, Chiyoda-ku 

Tokyo 102 JAPAN 

fax: 03-3265-5659 

independent film festival 

Ms. Kanako Hayashi 

Kawakita Memorial Film Institute 

Ginza-Hata Bldg. 

4-4-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku 

Tokyo 104 JAPAN 

promoter of Japanese films abroad 

Mr. Akira Matsubara 

Video Press 

5-24-16-201 nakano, Nakano-ku 

Tokyo JAPAN 

fax: 03-3385-9464 

video activist group 

Ms. Rie Nakano 

Pandore Co. Ltd. 

Shoufukuji Bldg., 2nd fl. 

5-11 Shintomi 2-chome, Chuo-ku 

Tokyo 104 JAPAN 

women's issues distributor 

Mr. Atsushi Sakurai 

Network V.I.E.W. 

33 Ginkakuji-cho, Sakyo-ku 

Kyoto 606 JAPAN 

national independent/experimental group 

Mr. Shiochiro Tachiki 
Kawasaki City Museum 



3049- 1 Todoroki, Nakahara-ku 
Kawasaki-shi 211 JAPAN 
fax: 044-754-4533 
exhibitor of independent media 

Mr. Akira Tochigi 
Image Forum 
Fudosan Kaikan Bldg., 6F 
3-5 Yorsuya, Shinjuku-ku 
Tokyo 160 JAP AN 
fax: 03-3359-7532 
media center & magazine 

Mr. Tetsujiro Yamagami 

SGLO Ltd. 

Mejiro House K #202 

3-25-10 Mejiro, Toshima-ku 

Tokyo 171 JAPAN 

fax: 03-5982-2085 

social issues producer & distributor 

Mr. Kazuyuki Yano 

Yamagata International Film Festival 

Kitagawa Bldg 4f 

6-42 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku 

Tokyo 162 JAPAN 

fax: 03-3266-9700 

documentary film festival 

Mr. Yoichi Yamazaki 

Euro Space 

24-8-604 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya-ku 

Tokyo 150 JAPAN 

fax: 03-3770-4179 

independent theater 



WORLDWIDEVIEWS 




Worldwide Television news® is the definitive 
source for archive and background footage 

of news, sports, personalities, locations, 

history and much more. computerized for 

direct access. any tape format. call for 

all your production requirements. 

1 -800-526-1161 




wm 



STOCK & ARCHIVE FOOTAGE • INTERNATIONAL NEWS GATHERING • CAMERA CREWS • PRODUCTION FACILITIES • SATELLITE SERVICES 

1995 BROADWAY NEW YORK, NY 10023 Tel: (212) 362-4440 Fax: (212) 496-1269 Copyright 1993 Worldwide Television News Corporation 



March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 5 



Edited by Michele Shapiro 




The skulls of 
Czar Nicholas II. 
his wife, and 
three daughters. 



SAN FRAN PRODUCERS SETTLE DISPUTE 
WITH NOVA OVER CZAR FOOTAGE 



Victoria Lewis and Frank Simeone, a pair of 
San Francisco-based filmmakers whose pro- 
jects include Louie Bluic and Live Wider, 
recently emerged from a year-long struggle 
with Boston PBS affiliate WGBH-TV and its 
award-winning Nova series. The parties 
involved battled over footage of the skeletal 
remains of the last Russian Czar, Nicholas II, 
and his family — a battle which, the filmmak- 
ers say, cost them more than $350,000; a 
potential distributor; court tees; and emo- 
tional wear and tear, not to mention valu- 
able time and contacts. Moreover, they say, 
it has left their entire project — which has 
consumed much of the last two years — in a 
precarious state. 



[IN THE BEGINNING] 

The ordeal began in the spring of 1991, 
when Lewis" was shown a videotape by her 
then Russian-language instructor. The tape, 
made by a Russian monk and smuggled 
through Germany, showed a man claiming 
two skulls he had found in a mine pit in 
Siberia were those of Nicholas II and his 
wife, Tsarina Alexander. The man went on 
to plead that a film be made of the find, so 
the royal couple could be "buried with honor 
and dignity." Lewis says she quickly answered 
the call, knowing that, it the man's claims 
turned our to be true, the film could be more 
than just a highly marketable project; it 



Lewis and Simeone spent the following 
months traveling back and forth to Russia, 
acquiring contacts, filming interviews, and 
compiling an immense amount of back- 
ground research. By the time winter of 1992 
rolled around, 75 percent of their documen- 
tary had been shot, and the filmmakers 
began sending out proposals for completion 
funds. In March 1993, executives at Nova 
requested a meeting to screen the footage 
that had been shot to date. After the execs 
saw the material, they offered $200,000— 
the exact amount of debt Lewis and Simeone 
had incurred, on the condition that Lewis 
and Simeone could receive written permis- 
sion from Russian officials to film the actual 



[THE DEAL] 



skeletal remains, to wnicn tney nad previ- 
ously been denied access. 1 he filmmakers 

declined and instead, Lewis says, suggested a 
coproduction deal that would allow them to 
continue work on the documentary. 
According to the filmmaker, Novel eventu- 
ally agreed, although Eric Brass, Nam's cor- 
porate counsel, has no recollection of such 
an agreement. 

Spurred on by spoken promises of repa\ - 
njent (no written contract yet existed), the 
filmmakers sank additional funds into the 
project. They made several trips to Russia. 
Although their requests tor access to the 
skeletal remains were consistently denied, 



In June, a Nova executive taxed Lewis and 
Simeone an initial agreement. The contract 
offered the filmmakers director, producer, 
and writer credits; $200,000 for all footage 
including the remains; 25 percent of ancil- 
lary market distribution; and, according to 
Brass, the ability to produce their own film 
based on the same footage .Void was using. 
The tax, however, did not earn a signature, 
and out ol their own naivete, Lew is savs; the 
filmmakers only verbally agreed to it. Not 
three days later, Nova and the filmmakers 
finally were granted permission to film the 
Czar's remains. 

Bass says at that point, Nova became con- 
cerned the footage would not prove as useful 
:is they had originality thought and 
expressed interest in continuing contract 
discussions. While overseas, the pair con- 
tacted a lawyer who drew up an awkward, 
and, according to the filmmakers, unofficial 
working agreement with Nova that was 
intended to allow both production teams to 
share the long sought-after shoot of a foren- 
sic anthropologist's examination of the 
bones. But the document ended up making a 
sticky situation even stickier. 

The contract, which both attorneys agreed 
to, stated that, tor $35,000, Nova would get 
the right to up to ten minutes of footage shot 
previously by the filmmakers. 

While in London, they called Nova to 



6 THE INDEPENDENT 



arrange for some money to be wired to them 
and learned of the $35,000 clause. "We were 
devastated," says Lewis. "After giving them 
the results of two years of research, four trips 
to Russia, our resources and connections and 
most importantly, the idea, they tell us we 
don't even have U.S. rights. We could not 
sell a $350,000 film to them for $35,000." 

After receiving the agreement, Nova sent 
a recently appointed senior producer, 
Michael Barnes, to meet Lewis and Simeone 
in Moscow. Under somewhat strained cir- 
cumstances, they managed to work together 
on the historic shoot. 

A few months later, the filmmakers 
received a phone call from the senior pro- 
ducer who demanded they hand over the 
bone footage for less than cost, Lewis says. 
According to her and Simeone, the produc- 
er threatened to sue if they didn't agree. The 
two contacted their lawyer, who offered to 
sell Nova the finished documentary. 



[THE BATTLE] 

Lewis and Simeone soon received a sum- 
mons from Nova, along with a temporary 
emergency restraining order that would give 
the series control over the footage of the 
remains. They were informed by Nova's 
lawyers on November 29 that a hearing was 
scheduled for the following day — in Boston. 
The filmmakers arranged to put a second 
mortgage on their house to pay legal costs, 
which were expected to exceed $50,000. 
They managed to postpone the hearing for 
one day, just enough time to hire Boston 
lawyers to appear in court on their behalf. 

A district court judge ruled that Nova 
could no longer seize the footage, and gave 
the parties 10 days to settle the dispute. 
"This is a very interesting project," remarked 
chief judge Joseph L. Tauro, "and it seems to 
me there are enough bouquets to go 
around. "0= 



[THE SETTLEMENT] 

The eventual settlement allowed Nova to 
receive 10 minutes of footage, which they 
payed for at cost, while Lewis and Simeone 
kept the rest and maintained worldwide 
rights to their own documentary. 

In an interview with The Independent, 
Jeanne Hopkins, Nova's media relations 
director, said the series was pleased with the 
outcome of the settlement."We both have 
[the footage] now, and can go on to make 
our own films." She also explained that the 
only reason Nova took Lewis and Simeone to 
court was that the filmmakers were not shar- 
ing certain footage with them, so the series 
"had no other recourse." 

This is not the first time that indepen- 
dents have had difficulties with Nova. Other 
mediamakers, such as New York-based 
Rufus Standefer, report similar stories. A 
number of years ago, the head of program- 
ming at Nova — who'd heard from a mutual 
acquaintance about Standefer's documen- 
tary on Appalacian acid rain — requested a 




March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 7 




Multimedia is tricky 

When it jumps off your 
desktop, where is it going to 
go? Don't be surprised if you 
have to chase your vision 
down to ESPI, where small 
formats, full broadcast quality 
and the latest computers all 
come to interface. 
•Computer output from Mac, 
PC, & SGI (Softimage, Alias 
and Wavefront) to BetaSP. 
•Paint, animate, capture and 
scan on state of the art Mac 
and Indigo 2 systems in our 
Digital Image Lab. 

•Component Online with EFX 
and paintbox for $175.00/hr. 
RGB computer output and 
postscript fonts are online! 

•Broadcast Quality from Hi8, 
3/4SP, S VHS or BetaSP at 
in our cuts only rooms. Cut 
your reel at special rates. 

•BetaSP packages starting at 
$400.00/day. Three days to 
a week on Hi8 rentals! 
IMC robotic video stand, for 
real-time 2D slide & picture 
animation. ^ * 

RIC if* 

PRODUCTIONS, INC. 

15 West 26th Street 
NYC, NY 10010 
212 481-ESPI (3774) 




W* 



proposal detailing his research and contacts. 
Like Lewis and Simeone, who were unaware 
of any potential for wrongdoing, Standefer 
handed over his hard-won resources, only to 
be avoided and, eventually, rejected by the 
series. Standefer later learned that Nova had 
sent a film crew out to interview his con- 
tacts. Standefer recalls viewing Nova's final 
project and seeing some of the exact 
sequences, shot by shot, that he had outlined 
in his proposal. "It's pathetic," he says. 
"They're taking advantage of people who 
have nothing but their labor and research." 
Others who had similar experiences with 
Nova were contacted for this article, but 
refused to speak to The Independent on the 
record, even anonymously. 



[THE MORAL] 

At press time, Lewis and Simeone planned 
one final trip to Russia to film the funeral 
ceremony of the remains. They hope to have 
the finished film by spring, in time for it to 
make the rounds on the festival circuit. Yet 
they now have to beat out five other 
Romanov projects by such big timers as 60 
Minutes, National Geographic, and Nova, 
which will corner the PBS market and has 
already been presold abroad. The filmmakers 
say it's important for others to learn from 
their experience and to work closely with a 
lawyer in all stages of negotiation. Lewis rec- 
ommends a hardnosed approach: "Have a 
contract and a lawyer before you give anyone 
any information, no matter how nice [he or 
she] seems. It happens so often, and for us, it 
almost destroyed our lives." 

Sue Murray 

Sue Murray is The Independent's editorial 

assistant. 



NO SHORT CUTS 

FOR LA'S 
FELLINI THEATER 

The proposed Fellini Theater will sit on a 
quiet stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard in 
Hollywood, where a handful of small, dusty 
theaters lean shoulder to shoulder. This is 
Theater Row, home to experimental theater, 
performance art, works-in-progress, and the 
cream of Los Angeles' low-budget live the- 
ater scene. With the opening as early as this 
spring of the Fellini, a small theater devoted 
to the screening of films under an hour-and- 
a-half in length, a clear and adventurous 
voice will be added to the mix. 

The Fellini is a newly formed nonprofit 
organization for the makers of shorts and the 
dreamchild of Doug Piburn, a super 8 film- 
maker. Piburn singlehandedly recruits mem- 
bers, organizes events, and promotes them. 
In an interview with The Independent, Piburn 



said he envisions three types of films being 
shown at the Fellini when it opens: recently 
produced independent shorts, retrospectives 
of short works from such well-known makers 
as Ken Jacobs and Stan Brakhage, and big- 
ger-budget shorts that are available through 
distributors. 

Tall and lanky, with an enthusiastic man- 
ner he dons like a super hero's cape, Piburn 
explained the type of maker he hopes his 
organization will attract. "I am determined 
to champion small filmmakers... the ones 
who are out there not making any money at 
it, not making short films as a calling card to 
get into the industry, but those who are mak- 
ing films that they just have to make, films 
that are so personal and so real and so imme- 
diate that they just have no choice." 

Piburn explained that he had made the 
Fellini his personal mission because no such 
theater exists in Hollywood. "There is no 
full-time movie theater where Angelenos 
can see the latest 16mm, 35mm, super 8, and 
video shorts. L.A. is the film capital of the 
world and the conspicuous lack of presence 
[of such outlets] in Los Angeles is absurd." 

Last year saw a vehement outcry from 
film- and videomakers when the Academy of 
Motion Picture Arts and Sciences an- 
nounced it would eliminate short documen- 
tary and live-action short categories from its 
awards ceremony. As a result, the academy 
decided to postpone its decision for one year 
["On the Outs with Oscar," March 1993]. 
So Piburn may be on to something. "Short 
films need to be viewed on their own terms, 
not just as a substitute for a cartoon on a fea- 
ture film program. I am caught up in the 
underground romance of shorts, and I 
believe there is an audience for them here in 
Los Angeles, and in other cities, too." 




Film shorts like 
Bart Mallard's 
Burn Heads will get 
top billing at the 
new Fellini theater 
in Los Angeles. 

Courtesy 
filmmaker 



A membership organiza- 
tion, the Fellini will screen 
films that have been sub- 
mitted with a $75 annual 
membership fee. Piburn 
added, however, that mem- 
bership will not guarantee a screening. "I'm 
not going to show just anything. I view each 
film with a jury, and we reserve the right to 
refuse films that don't meet our standards," 
he said. "We're looking for a boldness of 
vision and, of course, some technical author- 
ity. 

In mid-December, Piburn organized the 
First Annual Great North American Short 
Film Festival, which featured a total of 18 
works culled from more than 30 submissions. 
The festival took place at the World 



8 THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 




Theater, near the location where Piburn 
hopes to house the Fellini. A variety of 
intense, personal, short, shorter, and very 
short films were screened to six different 
sold-out audiences. Among the films fea- 
tured were Rogelio Lobato's The Addict (40 
min., 16mm); Robin Scovilli's La Vergine 
degU Angeli (four min., 35mm); Maxene 
Vener's Under the Daisies (12 min., 16mm); 
and John Axelrod's Play Is the Work of 
Children (eight min., 16mm). Comments 
from audience members in the screening's 
sign-in book were unanimously positive. 
One woman gushed, "At last! A home for 
shorts!" 

Piburn welcomes submissions from film- 
and videomakers in any format. Submissions 
for the opening festival included so many 
super 8 films, Piburn said he plans to orga- 
nize a super 8 festival this summer. For more 
information and submission guidelines, call 
(213) 669-1625. 

Julia Robinson Shimizu 

Julia Robinson Shimizu is a Los Angeles area 
writer whose article on L.A.C.E. and FILM- 
FORUM appeared in the January/February 
1 994 issue of The Independent. 



{JACKIE SHEARER: 1946-1993} 

woman of incredible commitment, 
"lti, and sense of mission passed from us 
on November 26, 1993. Jacqueline Anne 
Shearer, or Jackie as most people knew her, 
was a rare, honest blend of veteran filmmak- 
er and agent for social change. Surrounded 
by family and friends, Jackie died at age 46 
from colon cancer. She was at home in 
Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Although I knew of Jackie for a long time, 
I met her only once in 1992 at the 
"Available Visions" conference on black film 
distribution in the Bay area. I would not see 
her again, but she left an indelible mark on 
me as a person deeply committed to film, 
social change, and personal vision. Calm, 
articulate, and careful with her observations, 
Jackie clearly commanded a room when she 
spoke. You knew that, even if someone did 
not agree with her, she at least listened and 
heard the person. There was truly something 
special about her. I admired her patience 
and willingness to give of herself to those in 
need. 

A pioneer black woman in film, Jackie 
came to the medium through her desire to 
link activism and media as tools for social 
change. Already involved with educational 
issues in her community, she became a 
founding member of Boston Newsreel and 
began teaching herself how to make film. 
Although she is probably best known for her 
work in historical documentary — The Mas- 
sachusetts 54th Colored Infantry (1991); The 
Promised Land and The Keys to the Kingdom 
(both segments of the second series of Eyes 
on the Prize, which aired in 1989) — Jackie's 
work in film was extremely varied and com- 







r *sggr 



Entry Deadline: 
April 1,1994 




^TJSAir BU^ML 

T^rbegMrwilhyoii_^^Wh£re all the miles Prate of Mind Banking 



HM RIFKEN PRODUCTIONS INC. 

P.O. Box 222 • 21 Glenwood Ave. 
Leonia, New Jersey 07605 



EXPERIENCED CAMERAMAN OFFERS: 

PRE AND POST PRODUCTION SERVICES 
COMPLETE FIELD PACKAGE 
FULL INSURANCE COVERAGE 

NARRATIVE 
DOCUMENTARY • TRAINING VIDEOS 

Plus 

Fluent Spanish 

Experience in 

Latin America and Europe 

Clients Include: 

ESPN, NBC, CNN, MTV 

NICKELODEON 

FRONTLINE 

FEATURE VIDEO PRODUCTION COMPANIES 

TEL: (201) 461-5132 PAGER: (201) 996-7599 
FAX: (201) 461-5013 NYC (917) 728-0141 



USASTLDIOS 



March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 9 



COUIIHi 
&SANDS 



Independent 
Insurance Brokers 

All Forms of Insurance 



56 Beaver St. #801 

New York, NY 10004-2436 

tel: 212-742-9850* fax:212-742-0671 

Contact: Debra Kozee 

Members: AiCP. AIVF. IFP & NYWIF 



Ray Benjamin Video 



29 West 15th Street 
New York, NY 10011 
212-242-4820 

Post Production Services 

On-Line / Off -Line 
Hi8-3/4"SP & 3/4"SP-3/4"SP 

8 tracks of audio for video 

Titles - Graphics - Digital FX 

Toaster 4000 w/Amilink Controller 

Window Dubs 

Hi8 - 3/4"SP - 3/4" 
SVHS - VHS 

Production Services 

Hi8 acquisition 
Studio on premises 

Reasonable Rates 

Clients include: Ad Agencies, Major 

Corporations, Documentary and 

Independent Producers 

12 years experience. 

Patience and guidance are free. 




plex; she did everything from slide shows on 
tenants' rights to PSAs on the Nestle infant 
formula boycott campaign to video installa- 
tions on the history of the civil rights move- 
ment. 

A Minor Altercation (1977), a drama 
about the aftermath of a school fight 
between two girls — one black and one 
white — explores the issues of racism, class, 
gender, and school bureaucracy. I first saw 
the film while still an undergraduate at 
Brown University and I remember how 
important it was in provoking painful, but 
necessary, discussions among both white stu- 
dents and students of color. Ten years later, 
I used the film as part of a Third World film 
course I was teaching at Antioch College, 
and I was surprised at how it still generated 
passion and heated discussion among the 
students. 

Jackie seemed to have a knack for being in 
the right place at the right time to make 
things happen, and she was often the cata- 
lyst for good things happening. In July 1976, 
working with her friend Lyn Levy, Jackie 
became the founding chair of the board of 
Span, Inc., the only independent nonprofit 




Courtesy Paul Stekler 

program for offenders and ex-offenders in 
Massachusetts. She continued in this post 
until her death. Jackie also served as board 
president of the Independent Television 
Service (ITVS) in 1992, a difficult period in 
the organization's development. 

For the last 10 years, Jackie had been 
working on a feature film, Addie and the Pink 
Carnations. The project helped her get 
through the pain of her cancer. Set in 1930's 
Harlem, the script sought to portray a criti- 
cal but neglected piece of African-American 
labor and women's history. 

Because Jackie divided her time between 
New York and Boston, memorial services 
were held in both cities. The first took place 
at the African Meeting House in Boston and 
was attended by nearly 150 individuals; the 
second service in Harlem at the Schomberg 
Center attracted 75. Tributes were offered 
by Charlayne Haynes, Henry Hampton, 
Alexa Birdsong, and B. Ruby Rich, among 
others. With Jackie's passing, we lost a great 
artist and advocate among independent 
filmmakers. 

A fund has been established in Jackie's 



10 THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



name to support the work of African 
American women filmmakers. Contributions 
should be mailed to: The Jackie Shearer 
Fund, c/o The Funding Exchange, 666 
Broadway, New York, NY 10023. 

ZEINABU IRENE DAVIS 

Zeinabu Irene Davis is a filmmaker who lives 
in Chicago and teaches film and video produc- 
tion at Northwestern University. 



SEQUELS 



Ervin S. Duggan recently took over as 
president of the Public Broadcasting 
System (PBS). Duggan is a member of the 
Federal Communications Commission 
and a Washington insider. He will succeed 
Bruce Christensen, who left PBS in 
August after nine years as president to 
become dean of the College of Fine Arts 
and Communications at Brigham Young 
University in Utah. One of Duggan's goals 
is for PBS to take a leading role in the ere' 
ation of a national system for the 
exchange of computerized information, 
and the New York Times reported Duggan 
as saying, "Joint ventures must be part of 
the future." PBS, founded in 1969, cur- 
rently has 346 member stations. 



PBS Home Video has officially severed 
its ties with Pacific Arts Video after the 
distribution company's financial woes 
were made public in 1993 ["Where's the 
Cash? Pacific Arts Doles Out I.O.U.S," 
October 1993]. Pacific Arts was hired to 
operate PBS Home Video in 1992 after 
the network announced a controversial 
policy that allowed PBS first dibs on insti- 
tutional and home video rights for all 
PBS-funded productions. A statement 
from the Coalition for Public Television 
Program Access and Diversity regarding 
PBS's decision to sever its ties with Pacific 
Arts points out that the network's mass- 
market strategy backfired, hurting not 
only producers, to which it owes millions 
of dollars, but educational video distribu- 
tors, who previously excelled at finding 
audiences for PBS programming. At press 
time, PBS was shopping for another home 
video partner. 



Lives in Hazard, a documentary about gang 
violence by husband-and-wife filmmakers 
Susan Todd and Andy Young, which was 
screened at the 1993 1FFM ["High 
Anxiety at the Angelika": December 
1993] will be broadcast Friday, March 4 
on NBC. The special will air together with 
a town meeting on the subject, produced 
by the network's news division. 




s 



the "best distributor 
for the independent 
filmmaker. 

lapesbmi 

INTERNATIONAL 

920 Broadway 

New York, NY. 10010 

Tel: (212) 677-6007 

Fax:(212)473-8164 





MEDIA COMPOSER SUITE - 4000 

CREATIVE HI-8 
PRODUCTION PACKAGES 

OFFLINE/ON LINE 
PRODUCTION FACILITY 

BETACAM SP • 3/4 



CALL FOR INFORMATION 
ON OUR AFFORDABLE RATES 




DISTINCTIVE 

MULTIMEDIA 



212-366-4818 



^p\AMARfc f j. 




ATTENTION: FILM AND VIDEO 

PRODUCERS AND MULTIMEDIA 

DEVELOPERS 

GIVE YOUR WORK 
MAXIMUM VISIBILITY 

The National Educational 

MEDIA MARKET is a one-of-a-kind 

national showcase for producers 

and developers seeking 

distribution of new programs. 

o 

The MEDIA MARKET links 

producers and developers 

with distributors and publishers 

who sell to institutional, broadcast 

and consumer markets worldwide. 

Eligibility: Films, videos, and 

multimedia programs. 

Works-in-progress are welcome. 



DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: 

April 8, 1994. 
Late submissions accepted until 
April 29, 1994 with a late fee. 

The MEDIA MARKET will take place 

May 18-20, 1994 

at the 

National Educational 

Film & Video Festival 

in Oakland, California. 



Application forms: 

NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL 

MEDIA MARKET 

655 Thirteenth Street 

Oakland, CA 94612-1220 

Telephone: 510.465.6885 

Fax: 510.465.2835 



March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 11 



SAN FRANCISCO 



is home to more mediamakers 

per capita than anywhere else in the country, 

Robert Anbian describes why the Bay Area 

continues to captivate independents* 




by Robert Anbian 

The Peace Navy won. 

Or at least it declared victory 

when the "other navy" announced 

that 1993 was the last year of Fleet 

Week, when the big ships of the 

U.S. Pacific Fleet parade 
in San Francisco Bay and the city 
rattles under the sonic booms 
of the Blue Angels. 



12 THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



For years the Peace Navy, a ragtag collection of recreational 
sailors, peaceniks, and pick-up camera crews of Bay Area documen- 
tary activists, has been disrupting the annual display of gun metal 
hubris by sailing anti-war floats past the reviewing stands and gener- 
ally getting in the way — much to the distress and boos of the city's 
many military and civic boosters. The media activists among them 
would quickly send out their tapes, which were picked up in places as 
far afield as Asia and Europe and carried over CNN, while local tele- 
vision would turn a blind eye to the protest. 

Media activists, from veteran documentarians to youthful cam- 



Outdoor projections, in fact, have enjoyed something of a vogue of 
late, resuming a Bay Area legacy that extends from a group of early 
sixties experimental filmmakers projecting their work on a sheet 
hanging in a backyard in Canyon, California, to Black Panther films 
projected on the walls of Berkeley a decade later, to early eighties 
renegade-art projections into the rearview mirrors of cars whipping 
along the old Embarcadero Freeway. Recent shows, drawing up to 
1,000 people, have included Bay Area historical documentaries at the 
tourist-centered Powell and Market cable car turnaround, personal 
home movies at 6th and Market (San Francisco's skid row), a show 




The audience for the mad, bad. and. unusual in moving 



image media runs wide and deep in the Bay Area. 



corder guerrillas, did the same thing when the Gulf War brought out 
seas of protesters in the largest demonstrations since the Vietnam 
era. They sent round the world a dramatic image of the San Francis- 
co-Berkeley-Oakland nexus once again marching to its own drum- 
mer. 

Meanwhile, film and videomakers of several stripes, long frustrat- 
ed in attempts to get work aired over local pubcaster KQED Channel 
9, have taken to projecting their pieces on the station — on the build- 
ing's side wall, to be exact — to the delight of audiences and puzzle- 
ment of the cops, who can't quite figure out if a projection beam tres- 
passes. 



on urbanism in a parking lot, and a slide show of photos by homeless 
and low-income people projected in the moneyed canyons of the 
financial district. 

These downtown shows have sometimes had to avail themselves of 
the outlaw tech skills of the Bay Area's many post-punk (cyber-, 
biker-, and hardcore-) mediamakers to cut off interfering street lights. 
One respectable curator was seen dipping into the electrical works of 
a huge street lamp while a cohort stood by ready with a wooden block 
to knock the curator away if a wrong connection was made. 

All the while, the entertainment editor of the morning daily, the 
San Francisco Chronicle, has been raving that he's sick of all the multi- 



March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 13 



hued and ideological film festivals that jam the Bay Area calendar 
and show all these arty and agitprop works and shorts and other odd- 
ities and who cares about the "urban art scene" anyway and he's not 
going to cover any of it anymore! Some writers who could care about 
independent media — or any culture other than the homogenized 
sort — have been given their walking papers, and cultural coverage 
has headed steadily suburban and USA Todaj'isb.. Still, the audience 
for the mad, bad, and unusual in moving image media runs wide and 
deep in the Bay Area and doesn't seem much affected, so far, by the 
coverage blackout. 

The smaller afternoon daily, the San Francisco Examiner, has taken 
up some of the coverage slack, while the local alternative weeklies 
have discovered independent film — now that becoming a "movie 
director" has taken on some of the same allure for the young as 
becoming a rock star — though they've done so with a certain persis- 
tent juvenility. Perhaps for that reason, neither the Bay Guardian nor 
the S.F. Weekly have yet managed, relative to their own milieu, the 
same clout as, say, the Village Voice or the LA. Weekly. 

A new film commission has been doing a bang-up job of reversing 
San Francisco's reputation as an expensive and difficult (sheesh, 
those activists!) place to shoot. More Hollywood production means 
more work for industry crafts people, no small number of whom live 
other lives as independent film- and videomakers. That's good news 
(although media job seekers far outnumber available jobs, and will for 
as long as the Bay Area remains an exceptionally desirable place to 
live). The commission actually has a broad mandate to nurture local 
talent and the independent filmmaking community. There are sub- 
committees and public hearings on the matter, but (here's the bad 
news) just about anything anybody thinks of doing for indepen- 
dents — as in hiring or training or underwriting local media arts — only 
threatens to raise the cost of commercial shooting. The nabobs of 
union and business, who sit on the commission like old bulldogs, 
aren't going to have that. So it's all talk and no walk. 

Then there is the booming success of "Multimedia Gulch" to con- 
sider. Centered on South Park, an oval of grass surrounded by Victo- 
rian-era buildings, the Gulch is where cutting-edge computer-anima- 
tion-special effects companies like Colossal and Xaos are creating 
some of the most visually innovative TV commercials and MTV fare 
today, bringing another economic underpinning to the media arts 
scene. But already the days of nothing-to-lose start-up companies, 
long on artistic adventure and financial naivete, have become the 
stuff of nostalgia and legend as success reins in adventure and 
enforces financial discipline. Imagine, it's a dream of some of these 
companies to move into more "content-based" productions, that is, 
do something like what independents do. 

So it goes. "It's a constant process," as one long-time commentator 
on the cultural scene puts it, "of renewal and disillusionment." 



Locating Oz'by'the'Bay 



) 



A mordant joke makes the rounds: If Camus said the only truly philo- 
sophical question is whether or not to commit suicide, the Bay Area 
independent wakes up saying, "Is this the day I move to L.A.?" 

It's a witticism that in its stereotypical way is a bit unfair to both 
places. After all, there are plenty of market-defying artists in Los 
Angeles and plenty of Hollywood in San Francisco. But much of the 
"Hollywood" that is here, like screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, actors 
Danny Glover and Robin Williams, and the "three big sausages," as 
we like to say, of local feature filmmaking — Coppola, Lucas, and pro- 
ducer Saul Zaentz — represent a somewhat maverick orbit around the 
industry. Albeit even they also operate at some distance from the in- 
the-trenches world of local independents. (Not forgetting their roots, 
however, Glover and Williams are ubiquitous at local benefits; Zaentz 
{Amadens, The Right Stuff) not only runs the renowned Fantasy 
Building in Berkeley, where many independents have offices and can 
share a community of interests, but has also done a great deal to bring 
postproduction work to Northern California.) At the same time, Los 
Angeles, for all its size and dynamism, remains largely a one-industry 
town that puts independent media artists in a very long shadow and 
provides surprisingly few support services or even audiences for them. 

One punkish experimental maker, who, like so many here comes 



from someplace else — Austin, Texas in this case — puts it this way: "I 
would have gone to Los Angeles if craft were most important, New 
York if career were tops. I came to San Francisco for the heart of it." 

It's a theme you'll hear often, setting up a perhaps inevitable three- 
way comparison among the cities. Says a video curator, himself a 
transplant from Southern California: "The L.A. media scene is big 
but not that significant for independents. In New York there's that 
edge where succeeding is everything. In S.F. there's a balance 
between pursuing form and style as individual expression and seeking 
success." A young documentary maker from New York says, "In L.A. 
an independent is an anomaly. New York has surprisingly little base 
of support for independent work. But in San Francisco, no matter 
what level you're at, you can be taken seriously. You can find support, 
have shows, meet other filmmakers. You don't have to be pre-selling 
to German ZDF to get attention." This woman plans eventually to 
return to New York — "just a much bigger sounding board" — but 
chooses to spend her formative years where she finds both communi- 
ty support and the freedom to explore artistic form. "People come 
here to dream, not exchange business cards," avers one scene-watch- 
er. Another artist waxes poetically: "New York is Rome, Los Angeles 
is Byzantium, but San Francisco, ah, San Francisco is Florence." 

All of which is interesting, given that New York and L.A. are 
clearly "first tier" cities in terms of size and power, while San Fran- 
cisco is, strictly speaking, a second tier city, more akin, say, to Ams- 
terdam — or indeed, Florence — than to Paris or London. And yet, 
culturally, especially in the media arts, the San Francisco Bay Area 
seems to levitate above its second tier status. Always a critical mass 
of cultural ferment — "Yow!" as localite Zippy the Pinhead would 
say — the Bay Area's creative outbursts are periodically absorbed by 
the culture at large without its ever exactly becoming a power center 
itself in terms of media money and decision-making. That is its dis- 
tinctive virtue, and also its burden. 

San Francisco may be the country's preeminent center for inde- 
pendent, noncommercial, and broadly oppositional media arts. One 
can certainly see more, and more diverse, independent work here in 
any week than in L.A., or even New York. Large numbers of inde- 
pendents, wherever they're coming from and wherever they're head- 
ed, come through town sooner or later. Places as far-flung as Mel- 
bourne, Australia, and Cork, Ireland, not to mention New York's 
Museum of Modern Art, have staged showcases of Bay Area work. 
It's a reputation that has more to do with the power of imagination 
than the power of success. Another sly joke goes: "In San Francisco, 
the emperor definitely has no clothes.. .but who cares; she has a beau- 
tiful bod." 



c 



Place & Philosophy 



Community. It's a word you'll hear over and over again as a kind of 
mantra of collective identity. Aside from the grandeur of nature in 
these parts, the sweeping cinematic views from almost any corner, the 
blue skies, an intimacy of scale in the geography, the stunning archi- 
tecture, plus good food and coffee, artists mean community when 
they talk about quality of life. They speak of "having a life and not 
just a career." 

This "community" of artists — and of arts presenters, organizers, 
and audiences — tends to wear its shared values on its sleeves, gen- 
uinely if too pridefully and self-consciously at times. It is both an ide- 
alized community and a community of idealists. Its values lie in an 
appreciation of diversity, in a concern for social justice, in not only 
the freedom but the encouragement to stretch boundaries, to be out- 
rageous and take a combative stance — ranging from outright rejec- 
tion to trickery — toward the strictures of the mass market. 

This core concern with community may be dismissed by some as a 
vestige of 1960s counterculturism. If there's some truth to that, it is 
also true that the sixties themselves, and the persistence of sixties val- 
ues, must be placed in a much broader historical context. Artists 
throughout modern times, in both progressive and reactionary ways, 
have sought to recover, reconstruct, or reinvent human community 
in the face of the corrosive and atomizing effects of mass market eco- 
nomics. 

Of course, this is an idealized picture, true but also riddled and ani- 



14 THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



mated by contradiction. Its material truth can be found in part in the 
vitality of the many artist organizations in the area. Media arts orga- 
nizations like Canyon Cinema and San Francisco Cinematheque 
(which shared their birth in that backyard in Canyon, California), 
Film Arts Foundation and Bay Area Video Coalition (both founded 
by makers seeking access to equipment), plus California Newsreel, 
Frameline, National Asian American Telecommunications Arts, 
Artists' Television Access, East Bay Media Center, and Cine Action 
attest to the reality of community. These organizations, though feel- 
ing the nationwide arts funding pinch, grew from the grass roots, and 
still operate very much as social centers, retaining the social and 
community base that has helped them weather contrary winds. 

The material community is also found in the sheer numbers of 
artists here. It's been often said that there are more independent film- 
and videomakers per capita here than anyplace else on the planet. 
Such is the mass of mediamakers here that many discrete milieus can 
thrive without ever really intersecting. That's one of the contradic- 
tions: "the myth," as one critic puts it, "that there is a media com- 
munity.... There are many media communities." And to some degree 
the strength of numbers allows each of these communities to draw in 
on itself, become insular, and to negate the larger community. 

That, along with the area's anything-goes ethos and distaste for 
competitiveness, underlies one of the most oft-heard complaints 
directed at "the community" by its own members — that there is a 
lack of critical edge to much of the interaction here. "It's almost too 
supportive!" exclaims the young documentarian from New York. A 
more grizzled veteran says it is too supportive: "Almost anyone can 
throw stuff up on the screen and develop a following... there's a lack 
of standards, of definition." Says a programmer in more measured 
tones: "The degree of tolerance is great, but sometimes it acts to 
encourage mediocrity." 

It can also foster the habits of insulation and disassociation from 
the larger society — and its values and problems — that have often lent 
the Bay Area its "exotic" aura. There's the old line about San Fran- 
cisco being the place "where young people come to retire." 

Something Completely Different J 

"Lies! All lies!" he shouts when it's suggested to him that com- 
munity, social tolerance, and an anti-commercial stance are keys 
to the Bay Area media arts scene. This guy is a reasonably suc- 
cessful documentary maker, and has another work coming out in 
the spring. He's been in the Bay Area media community for about 
as long as anyone. "It's a big cop-out," he says about the preva- 
lent anti-commercialism, "an excuse for failure." He's equally 
unimpressed with the notions of political engagement that ani- 
mate so many Bay Area artists: "Most people fighting for freedom 
here have never been enslaved." Querulous, excitable, iconoclas- 
tic, he seems, even while disavowing it, the very stuff of the 
scene. "San Francisco," he sums up, "is a great place to be cod- 
dled.. .an excellent place for lazy people." When challenged on 
his own presence here, he happily shrugs, "I'm lazy!" 



The View from Here 



Actually, it's so damned expensive to live here, and so difficult to 
make a living with your craft much less with your art, that it's a 
wonder any artists, lazy or not, remain. And that famous toler- 
ance — the moveable feast of the young and artistic and political- 
ly active — in fact rubs up uncomfortably against a far more mid- 
dle American ethos. For all their history and bravado, there is 
also a constant feeling of crisis in the arts communities of the Bay 
Area. The very promise of the place, of its heightened idealism, 
crossed by the realities of being an artist in this society, can pro- 
duce that much more of a siege mentality. 

So it goes. It is a community often in crisis, although enduring, 
turning on one of those historical hinges that seem to connect 
hope and despair, and also perhaps different generations that 
have come of age in very different epochs. In the face of their 
own contradictions, against the grain of mass market economics, 
often more honored elsewhere than at home, Bay Area indepen- 



") 




dents are making perhaps 
even more work than ever. 
Given the temper of the 
times, the conversational 
assessment among indepen- 
dents can sound downbeat. 
But there's all that work 
being done. And there is 
an incipient certainty 
that in a brave new 
world of 500 TV chan- 
nels, where sameness 
chases out difference; 
where the sensational 
and shallow pushes out 
the literate and challeng- 
ing; and where reality 
takes a back seat to fan- 
tasy compensation, the 
need for fearless indepen- 
dent media will be 
greater than ever. Some- 
times you show the 
truth, and no one 
comes. Sometimes you 
show the truth, and the 
world holds its breath. 
In between times, 
artists keep working. 



Robert Anbian recently 
published a book of poems 
Antinostalgia (Ruddy 
Duck Press, Buffalo). He 
is the editor of Release 
Print, the newsletter of 
Film Arts 
Foundation. 



San Francisco is a great movie town: great for audiences and with 
great audiences. No doubt the sheer number of film- and videomak- 
ers in the area helps nurture audiences who have a special regard for 
film as artistic expression. 

The Bay Area experienced the rigors of multiplexing and the 
deaths of art houses and dollar-a-double-bill repertory theaters along 
with the rest of the nation. But things seem to have stabilized — for 
the moment — and not only do a core of art and rep houses survive, 
but some of the multiplexing has also benefitted the richness of film 
watching in the area. At the same time, the Bay Area's baroque web 



of alternative spaces remains exceptionally vital. Local inde- 



PLAYING 




Photo: Esther Kut- 



FRANCISCO 



by Robert Anbi an 



Former porn 

house turned 

movie lovers' 

lair, the 

Roxie Cinema 

is the venue 

for FAF's 

annual Film 

Arts Festival. 

Photo: Peter 
Marcus, cour- 
tesy Film Arts 
Foundation 




pendents have a wild assortment of places in which to watch 
world cinema, and venues from storefronts and movie 
palaces to plush multiplex mini-theaters in which to get 
their own work shown. 

Multiplexes like the AMC Kabuki 8 Theaters in San 
Francisco's Japantown and Opera Plaza Cinemas in the 
Civic Center run foreign and American independent films 
alongside mainstream industry fare. The Kabuki serves as 
showhouse for a number of local festivals, including the 

San Fran- 
The Exploratori- c i s c o 
umVFilm Interna- 

Night on the t i o n a 1 
Bay." ^ Film Festi- 

val (a film 
lover's fest 
that 
serves as a doorway to U.S. mar- 
kets for many foreign films, as 
well as fitfully recognizing local 
independents), the Asian Am- 
erican International Film 
Showcase, and the American 
Indian Film Festival. Local 
independent media organiza- 
tions such as San Francisco Cin- 
ematheque, Film Arts Foundation, 
and New American Makers, which brings video art into theaters, 
have successfully mounted shows of independent film and video at 
both complexes. It would appear that multiplexes in the right envi- 
ronment and with creative management can do a lot to feed audi- 
ences for independent cinema. 

Some of the best of what 
has happened in local exhibi- 
tion is what didn't. The Cas- 
tro Theater, a movie palace 
offering one of the grandest 
film-watching experiences on 
the planet, did not get multi- 
plexed by its corporate par- 
ent, the Blumenthal theater 
chain, which has also 
declined to homogenize its 
programming. If I were a film- 
maker, I think heaven would 
be seeing my piece projected 
on the big Castro screen 
under that great rococo ceil- 
ing — with live organ accom- 
paniment, of course — before 
a full house of Bay Area 
mediaphiles. It's an experi- 
ence more than a few local 
independents have had. The 
Castro pursues a schedule 
that combines golden Holly- 
wood revivals and restored 
classics with new foreign and 
independent work. Located 
in the heart of the city's 



16 



THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



famed gay district, the Castro also serves as home venue for the bur- 
geoning gay media community and is one of two main houses for the 
San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, the coun- 
try's highest-profile gay film fest. The Castro is also the San Francis- 
co venue for the Jewish Film Festival. 

Actually, there's even been a revival of the movie palace experi- 
ence. The city's beautiful Alhambra, which shows mainstream first- 
run films, was recently de-twinned and restored to grandeur. South of 
the city, the Stanford Theater in Palo Alto is a lovingly renovated 
palace showing classic repertory, often in new prints, and with live 
organ accompaniment to silent films. A number of other single- 
screen houses of varying vintages help make the Bay Area a friendly 
place for foreign and non-mainstream film. 

Important for independents, a coterie of what were once called 'art 
houses' survives and even thrives in the Bay Area, always owing to 
the dedication of those who run them. They show revivals and for- 
eign films and carry adventurous bills of local and U.S. independent 
work. In the city's Mission District, the Roxie Cinema continues a 
great local tradition of art house programming, including the anom- 
alies of having been severely picketed for showing Godard's scan- 
dalous Hail Mary and having as its all time top-grossing film the rev- 
erential documentary Mother Theresa. A former porno house turned 
into a movie-lover's dive by a group that included filmmakers, the 
Roxie is the main house for the annual Film Arts Festival, a five-day 
fest of made-in-the-Bay Area independent work. It also shows part of 
the S.F. Lesbian and Gay Fest. 

In the Haight-Ashbury area, the worker-owned-and-operated Red 
Vic Movie House, recently secured from tenancy difficulties, offers a 
schedule that combines classic repertoire with local-angle psychedel- 
ic archaeo-cinema (like the 1967 Jack Nicholson-penned The Trip) 
and made-in-town independent media. 

Across the bay in Berkeley, Landmark's UC Theater gives a lot of 
marquee time to independent work, including documentaries and 
programs of shorts. It also provides an East Bay outlet for festivals like 
the American Indian Film Fest, the Jewish Film Festival, and the 
National Educational Film and Video Festival. It is the main house 
for the East Bay Video Festival, an important showcase for, among 
other things, video by people with disabilities. 

With all this, the Bay Area's most distinctive feature may be the 
number and variety of its alternative viewing spaces. They range from 
Berkeley's Pacific Film Archive, where — with all the stature of a 
museum and state-of-the-art theater — everything is concocted from 
innovative bills of international and independent cinema to the 
newest in conceptual video works, to San Francisco's Artists' Televi- 
sion Access. At this storefront-cum-exhibition/video editing space, 
you're as likely to see Narwok of the North as video poems by local 
stripper-activists. 

San Francisco Cinematheque screens programs at the San Fran- 
cisco Art Institute and satellite gallery spaces, cultivating an eclectic 
lineage — and eclectic audiences — of moving-image media as art, 
including really obscure restorations. It also offers willing viewers the 
latest in all that carries on the broad aesthetic and political strategies 
of experimental media. S.F. Cinematheque balances an international 
outlook with attention to local makers. With the near collapse of its 
exhibition in other places, the San Francisco Cinematheque remains 
a national standard-bearer for experimental American film* 

Other programmers of specialty shows, often including indepen- 
dent work, include the Exploratorium and the Goethe Institute in 
the city; La Pena Cultural Center in Berkeley; and the Oakland 
Museum. Once a year, the Cinema department at San Francisco 
State stages a raucous and much-loved "Film Finals" show of gradu- 
ating students' works. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has 
been mounting video installations with commendable vigor under 
the curatorship of Robert Riley, but the museum that pioneered the 
idea of "Film as Art" in the late 1940s has no regular exhibition of 
film, which irks local filmmakers. San Francisco's ambitious new 
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (either a depressing post-mod ware- 
house or an inspired art garden complex, depending on to whom you 
speak) pays more attention to static art and theater than to film, but 
in the near future it will host shows by Cinematheque, New Ameri- 
can Makers, and the new Big Green Screen, an environmental film 




festival in its second 



year. 

Meanwhile, in a 
way that is perhaps 
as much an affirma- 
tion of the richness 
of exhibition here 
than of anything 
dying out, San Fran- 
cisco's legendary No 
Nothing Cinema 
sits in limbo. An 
obscurely located 
Lamborghini 
garage- turned-film- 
maker's screening 
space, No Nothing's 
own annual "Film Is 
Dead" programs 
throughout the 
eighties had mocked 
the very anxieties 
that seems to haunt 
its existence, affirm- 
ing the happy anar- 
cho-aesthetic spirit 
that has always 
seemed to be at the 
heart of the artist's 
world here. Film- 
makers would cut ephemeral films just to get a piece in a show at a 
place that had no admission charge, was never covered in the press, 
and was often packed. Founded by filmmakers in the early eighties, it 
was a place where artists could show their films in the way they want- 
ed, in a purely aesthetic way, as "amateurs" — for the love of it — as 
both Brakhage and Cocteau had it. The facility's operating program 
was so minimal, says one participant, that it was called "no nothing": 
the founders could agree on little else. Refusing to institutionalize 
itself, No Nothing depended on the volunteer efforts of the partici- 
pating makers. There were a lot of great scenes, from private pre- 
mieres to wide open screenings, in a place featuring an outdoor court- 
yard where food was barbecued and people played music and danced. 
Inside, a small theater boasted a full-size screen and projection 
booth — and seats on risers. 

Today that original group, still working artists by and large, has 
aged into other challenges or moved to other places, and finds itself 
collectively without the time to keep the No Nothing running. For 
the moment, no one has stepped forward to pick up the game. At the 
same time, the No Nothing, situated in a row of dilapidated ware- 
houses at China Basin (south of downtown) , awaits eventual eviction 
to make room for some great urban enterprise, probably a sports 
arena. That prospect no doubt helps discourage volunteers for this 
purist venture. Or maybe that's just the life this kind of artistic pro- 
ject lives, a robust decade uncodified in any form other than in peo- 
ple's memories. 

One of the last shows staged at No Nothing was a goodbye tribute 
to Dean Snider, a No Nothing founder and somewhat irascible exper- 
imental filmmaker, who, suffering from Parkinson's disease, was leav- 
ing the Bay Area to fight his illness. The event, titled "A Life Is Not 
Film: The Almost Complete Works of Dean Snider," involved two 
days of screenings and gatherings. The first night featured a retro- 
spective of Snider's work, including such infamous films as Where's 
Betty? and Ouihlll That Was My Penis You Stepped On! The second 
day, starting at 3 p.m., involved a challenge from Snider to show one 
of his own films for every film someone else brought to the No Noth- 
ing. The result was an eyeball-peeling marathon of every kind of work 
of nearly every kind of quality. Well after midnight, when virtually all 
the audience had gone home, Snider, half-crippled but irascible still, 
was struggling with a projector that had gone wrong and working 
repairs on it until it could run the last of the films that had been 
brought. Snider was good to his challenge. 



March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 17 



With appropriate fanfare, San Francisco's 
venerable public television station 
KQED celebrates its 40th anniversary 
throughout 1994. From the perspective 
of independent producers, the history of the nation's 
fifth-largest public broadcaster can be characterized as 
years of support followed by a freeze-out of glacial pro- 
portions. More change is in the wind: The recent hiring 
of a new president who advocates original programming 
portends better times ahead, and local filmmakers are 
acknowledging KQED's milestone with a muted, cau- 
tiously optimistic clinking of glasses. 

KQED went on the air in 1954 as the fifth educa- 
tional television station in the country, initially broad- 
casting in black-and-white for two hours, two nights a 
week. As the schedule expanded, programming ranged 
from The Elements with nuclear physicist Glenn 
Seaborg to critic Ralph J. Gleason's ]azz Casual to East- 
ern Wisdom and Modem Life with Zen philosopher Alan 
Watts. The station soon developed a national reputa- 
tion for important, risky projects with The Rejected, a 
groundbreaking 1961 documentary on gay men, and 
Take This Hammer, a 1964 doc about racism in San 
Francisco with writer James Baldwin. 

By the time the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) 
replaced National Educational Television (NET) in 
1970, KQED had 43,000 members and 164 staffers. 
The station expanded, acquiring Channel 32, which it 
rechristened KQEC and dedicated to minority audi- 
ences. That same year, KQED was named one of the 
seven national production centers for public television. 
But the seventies were a mixed bag for public TV 
and especially for KQED. Even as the stuffy image of 
educational television was replaced by one of adven- 
turous programming and dynamic community involve- 
ment, a decline in viewer contributions and President 
Richard Nixon's veto of the Public Broadcasting Act — 
the first bill to include advanced multiyear funding for 
public television — prompted a budget crunch that trig- 
gered layoffs and forced KQEC to go dark. Cuts in pro- 
gramming and rising commercialization angered many 
of KQED's members. The Center for Experiments in 
Television, an experimental TV lab established at 
KQED in 1967, was closed in 1974. The station's 
refusal to work out programming relationships with 
independent producers provoked the Committee to 
Save KQED, a watchdog group led by Henry Kroll and 
Laurence Hall, to lobby the new California Public 
Broadcasting Commission — the first steps in the long 
process that eventually resulted in the creation of the 
Independent Television Service (ITVS). Nonetheless, 
by mid-decade KQED was recording the highest prime- 
time ratings of any PBS affiliate and had moved into a state-of-the-art facility. 

Meanwhile, the board members evolved from public educators to corporate executives. The recruitment of Anthony S. Tiano in 1978, and 
later President Ronald Reagan's defunding of public broadcasting and the relaxing of corporate underwriting rules, ushered in a new era of 
institutional entrepreneurship at KQED. Tiano aggressively increased membership by targeting the burgeoning ranks of yuppies. He also 

revamped the 
skinny monthly 
program guide 
into Focus, a 
glossy, upscale 
lifestyle maga- 




The KQED Conundrum 



by Michael Fox 



zine. 



However, once the station's revenue became dependent on multinational corporations and middle-class, primarily white members, minori- 
ty and social-issue programming — the kind of work favored by local independent producers — nearly evaporated from the schedule. Masterpiece 
Theatre, African wildlife, and similar bland fare filled the hours. That development, along with spiralling costs for original programs, led Tiano 
to gradually shrink the station's roster of in-house producers. KQED's last nightly newscast aired in 1980; its last investigative current affairs 
series, Express, expired in 1989. 

By the end of the 1980s, KQED was raking in enormous sums from 250,000 members and moving into new $18.7 million headquarters. But 
all was not sunshine. The local filmmaking community, newspapers, and a rising tide of viewers were growing increasingly critical of KQED's 
apparent disinterest in the cultural diversity of the Bay Area, not to mention regional issues. 



18 



THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



But despite its wealth and size, KQED (unlike WGBH or WNET) 
had little interest in producing national programming. And while 
Focus generated heaps of cash, many irritated KQED members con- 
sidered it a misguided use of resources that had nothing to do with 
the station's mandate. In fact, fully a third of KQED Inc.'s staff in 
1990 worked in marketing or administration. As San Francisco Chron- 
icle columnist Jon Carroll commented about the preponderance of 
beer festivals and other station-sponsored cash generators, "KQED's 
getting very adept at fund raising; it's really an art form now. It's like 
a charity without a disease." 

The wheels came off in the early nineties, thanks to a depressed 
California economy, reduced funding from corporate sponsors, and a 
membership plateau (due, in part, to the increased penetration of 
cable television) . Along with numerous other cuts, KQED laid off 1 1 
of its 14 current affairs and cultural producers and almost totally 
phased out station-produced and independent programming. 

On another front, KQED was embarrassed by the FCC's decision 
in 1988 to revoke its license to operate KQEC. After KQED had 
pulled the plug on KQEC in 1972, it reactivated the station in 1977 
only to take it off the air again two years later, ostensibly to repair 
equipment but actually as a cost-cutting measure. KQEC subse- 
quently resumed broadcasting, but such cavalier management cat- 
alyzed a group of Bay Area and outside parties to form the Minority 
Television Project (MTP) in 1985 to gain control of the station. The 
African- American alliance succeeded in 1990 when 
the FCC upheld the original license revocation and, 
when KQED withdrew its appeal, KMTP began 
broadcasting on August 31, 1991. 

KMTP was underfunded and understaffed from 
the outset. Six months after it started up, the station 
went off the air for a day because staffers hadn't been 
paid. The second black-owned public broadcaster in 
the country, the station's prime audience — and likeli- 
est members — are also among the region's most eco- 
nomically disadvantaged. As a result, KMTP has 
repeatedly confronted the possibility of being forced 
to suspend broadcasting because of lack of capital. 

Of equal concern, KMPT has failed two CPB 
audits, and rumors of improprieties committed by its 
top two managers at previous public broadcast posi- 
tions have circulated since the station went on the 
air. A new entity, the Bay Area Minority Telecom- 
munications Association (BAMTA), recently surfaced to challenge 
KMTP's license. This coalition of representatives from the African- 
American and Latino communities purports to represent a broader 
range of the population, but its prospects for funding are little better 
than those of KMTP. The next step is inducing the FCC to hold a 
hearing, which could take as long as two years. The FCC, for its part, 
is leery of revoking a license in the absence of fraud or mismanage- 
ment. 

Meanwhile, KQED finally woke up to the public rumblings and 
the realization that its members provided 62 percent of the station's 
income. The station initiated a half-hour weeknight talk show, Q, 
that showcased Bay Area artists. Although Q was poorly conceived, 
miscast a stand-up comic as the host, and lasted only a few months, 
it at least signaled that the station was hearing the hordes outside the 
gates. 

The most encouraging step by far, however, was the Living Room 
Festival, a unique and groundbreaking 13-week series of experimental 
and independent work curated by Bay Area media groups, which 
debuted in January 1993. Spearheaded by delegates from the Bay 
Area Video Coalition, Cinematheque, Black Filmmakers Hall of 
Fame, and National Asian American Telecommunications Arts 
(NAATA), the series was organized and funded without KQED's 
assistance. The station provided in-kind services, an 11 p.m. time- 
slot on Fridays, and some publicity. 

"In the first year," says series producer Jack Walsh, "people were 
trying to challenge, but not outrage." The initial season proved an 
unqualified success, and the festival even exported 90 minutes of Bay 
Area-produced work to KCET-Los Angeles. Now midway through its 
second season, the Living Room Festival has lined up its first national 



Mary Bitterman, the 
KQED president and 

Photo: Howard Gelman, 



funder in the form of a Rockefeller grant. In another development of 
note, a trio of presenting organizations, Frameline, NAATA, and 
Cine Accion, pooled and co-curated their three 90-minute slots, 
coming up with programs on the themes of generations, desire, and 
hate. The festival is already exploring funding sources for a third sea- 
son, which will influence discussions with KQED. Both sides, how- 
ever, have expressed interest in continuing their relationship. 

Local independent producers are also pleased with Viewpoints and 
Docs of the Bay, two series of nonfiction films curated by Greg Swartz, 
who took the acquisitions manager position when Pam Porter left the 
station in 1992. Viewpoints airs a blend of local and national works 
that miss the cut for P.O.V., while Docs of the Bay typically pairs two 
shorter local docs on the same program. By recent standards, this vis- 
ibility for local filmmakers on KQED is gratifying. Nonetheless, both 
series pay rock-bottom fees — $20-25/minute — for finished work with 
no plans on the horizon to fund productions. In addition, KQED typ- 
ically airs the shows late at night without a regular slot, which works 
against building an audience. 

In addition to KQED's refusal to commission new work — particu- 
larly galling given the enormous pool of talented filmmakers in the 
Bay Area, along with a sophisticated, politically informed popula- 
tion — the station has pared down the number of completion projects 
for which it provides postproduction services. Rob Epstein and Jeffrey 
Friedman's Where Are We: Our Trip Through America is a recent 
(albeit two-year-old) example. One of the few films 
in the pipeline (and several months from comple- 
tion) is Barbara Sonneborn's Regret to Inform, a doc 
about American and Vietnamese war widows that 
Pam Porter signed off on before her departure. 

The fact is that programming has decidedly 
improved in the last two years. The spate of cook- 
ing shows (many, like Yan Can Cook, produced by 
KQED and peddled to other PBS affiliates) , nature 
programs, and parched British imports has been 
alleviated by a recognition of the multicultural Bay 
Area (which may be a reaction to KMTP's respon- 
siveness to minority audiences) . KQED now sched- 
ules a bounty of targeted programming during Black 
newly appointed History Month (February) and to coincide with the 

CEO. city's annual lesbian and gay pride celebration 

courtesy kqed (June). Even more remarkably, the station invited 

NAATA to program part of Asian Heritage Month 
last spring and the Berkeley-based Jewish Film Festival to curate a 
Sunday evening series of documentaries last October. 

Optimists are also encouraged by Tony Tiano's departure in Sep- 
tember, 1993, after 15 years, and by the board's choice to succeed 
him. Mary Bitterman, who supervised a sizable chunk of original pro- 
gramming about Pacific cultures as executive director of the Hawaii 
Public Broadcasting Authority in the late seventies, was hired over 
the other finalist — WNET chief operating officer George Miles, who 
instituted draconian budget cuts and firings at the New York City sta- 
tion three years ago. That's as positive a signal as the Bay Area's inde- 
pendent production community has received from KQED in two 
decades 

So was the letter Bitterman wrote to subscribers shortly after her 
appointment. "KQED could be a significant contributor to the 
national schedule with programming that reflects the uniqueness of 
San Francisco and its rich multicultural traditions," Bitterman stated. 
"Three stations on the East Coast now produce 60 percent of PBS's 
national programs. With the Pacific century nearly upon us, I think 
it's time for the West to play a more important part." 

Local independent producers, who've struggled for years without 
KQED's support, are taking a wait-and-see attitude. Although 
KQED dollars won't flow into original programming overnight, Bit- 
terman's goals and objectives will gradually become apparent 
nonetheless. While a return to KQED's glory days of the 1960s is too 
much to hope for, the local filmmaking community will be elated if 
KQED merely takes the far-from-radical step of realigning its pro- 
gramming with its viewership. 

Michael Fox is a columnist and film critic for SF Weekly and a freelance writer for 

several Bay Area publications. 




March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 19 



From The Cage (1947), by Sidney Petersi 
who in the 1940s helped kick off the Bay 
Area's tradition of experimental filmmaking. 

Courtesy S.F. Cinematheque 




i 



t 



\ 



BY ALBE 



7 




L 



2 THE INDEPENDENT Mi 



7 



The San Francisco Bay Area has a long and fabled history as a center for film and video 

experimentation. Beginning in the post-WWII period and stretching uninterrupted nearly 50 years to 

the present, the Bay Area has been home to many of America's leading exhibition, education, 

production, distribution, and advocacy organizations for experimental media. 

This support system and the natural allure of the region has attracted hundreds of film and video 

artists to the city and its environs. 

Today, the Bay Area boasts the highest per capita population of independent film and video artists in the world. A sample listing of exper- 
imental mediamakers associated with San Francisco throughout the years reveals not only an impressive roster of individual talents, but also 
traces, in miniature, the evolutionary path of experimental media art in the United States. James Broughton, Sidney Peterson, Jordan Belson, 
Christopher MacLaine, Bruce Conner, Bruce Baillie, Chick Strand, Robert Nelson, Gunvor Nelson, Larry Jordan, Stephen Beck, Chip Lord, 
Lynn Hershman, George Kuchar, Doug Hall, Barbara Hammer, Tony Labat, Scott Bartlett, Skip Sweeney, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Ernie Gehr, 
Craig Baldwin, Jeanne Finley, Cecilia Dougherty, Greta Snider, Cauleen Smith, and many others have contributed to San Francisco's grand 
counter-tradition of nonconventional moving-imagemaking. Whether they call their creations "film-poems," "avant-garde films," "under- 
ground films," "expressive documentaries," "video art," or "interactive multimedia," these artists have all made works that are united by a com- 
mon thread: the use of film and video as tools for personal creative expression. 

The Big Bang that started it all occurred in 1946 when the Art in Cinema Series presented the first major public program of fine art cine- 
ma in San Francisco. Organized by Frank Stauffaucher and Richard Foster at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, this groundbreaking 
series offered first-time glimpses of films by European avant-garde artists of the 1920s and '30s (Hans Richter, Luis Bunuel, Germaine Dulac, 
Oskar Fischinger, Fernand Leger) along with films 
by contemporary American experimentalists (Maya 
Deren, Douglas Crockwell, John Whitney, and 
Mary Ellen Bute). On November 1, 1946, Art in 
Cinema presented Sidney Peterson and James 
Broughton's The Potted Psalm, generally recognized 
as the first film made by San Francisco artists. The 
Art in Cinema Series eventually drifted away from 
experimental films and ended with Stauffacher's 
death in 1955. During its brief life, however, it stim- 
ulated an enormous interest in the artistic possibili- 
ties of cinema and triggered a torrent of filmmaking 
activity among young poets and painters in the Bay 
Area. In addition to Peterson and Broughton, who 
each went on to make their own separate films, 
Harry Smith, Jordan Belson, and Christopher 
MacLaine were inspired to make films as a direct 
result of their attending the Art in Cinema shows. 

In addition to being a gifted film artist, Jordan 
Belson was largely responsible for keeping film art in 
the public eye of San Franciscans from 1957 to 1960 
with his legendary series of "expanded media" 
events, the Vortex Concerts at the Morrison Plane- 
tarium. Combining a kaleidoscopic array of film and 
slide projections on the Planetarium's dome with 
soundtracks of electronic music selected by his col- 
laborator Henry Jacobs, Belson's Vortex Concerts were hugely popular and extremely influential events. The psychedelic light shows present- 
ed at rock concerts in San Francisco and elsewhere during the sixties were direct descendants of the Vortex shows. 

As more and more artists started making films during the sixties, it became important to provide a venue where the films could be shown 
publicly on a regular basis as well as an organization that would help make the films available outside the Bay Area. In his backyard in Canyon, 
California, in 1961, filmmaker Bruce Baillie started showing films made by local artists. These home-spun screenings soon evolved into a "float- 
ing cinematheque" that gradually moved to other locations in Berkeley and San Francisco, presenting films to growing audiences in basements, 
clubs, and storefronts. Baillie's Canyon Cinematheque eventually became the San Francisco Cinematheque, now one of the oldest, continu- 
ously operating showcases for experimental, avant-garde cinema in the United States. 

In 1966, a group of Bay Area filmmakers banded together to create Canyon Cinema Cooperative, a member-owned collective that allowed 
anyone to deposit a film for rental and guaranteed all films would be cared for and promoted on an equal basis. The formation of Canyon Cin- 
ema ensured that the artistic integrity of members' films would not be compromised or misrepresented by film distribution companies, and that 
films with "delicate" subject matter would not be refused distribution based on their content. Today, Canyon Cinema distributes almost 4,000 
16mm and super 8 titles. 

The late sixties also marked the beginning of video experimentation in San Francisco. In 1967 the Center for Experiments in Television was 
established at San Francisco's public television station KQED, with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation. Under the direction of Brice 
Howard, the Center, originally conceived as a research and development laboratory for the television industry, encouraged a broad range of 
artists to experiment with the television medium. Ultimately, it eschewed the creation of corporate product in favor of works that pushed the 
medium into daring, unexplored territory. Rechristened the National Center for Experiments in Television (NCET) in 1969 after receiving 
funding from the newly formed National Endowment for the Arts, the Center continued producing innovative video until its close in 1974- 

KQED also served as the production and broadcast site for the Dilexi Series in 1969, a 12-week series conceived by James Newman, who 
operated the Dilexi Gallery, and produced by KQED's John Coney. Artists were commissioned to produce new work — with no restrictions on 
length, form, or content — and were given access to equipment and studio time. This experiment produced innovative tapes and films by Terry 
Riley, Julian Beck and the Living Theater, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Frank, Walter De Maria, Robert Nelson and William Wiley, and others. 
Unfortunately, KQED soon quashed such visionary projects. The only truly innovative programming produced by KQED today is The Living 




March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 21 



Room Festival, a weekly series featuring films and tapes curated by dif- 
ferent Bay Area media groups. 

The same do-it-yourself spirit and anti-institutional ethos that 
fueled grassroots enterprises like Canyon Cinema also creat- 
ed the conditions under which video art 
could be made and seen outside of tra- 
ditional studio and broadcast environ- 
ments. During the late sixties and early 
seventies, members of the video collec- 
tives Ant Farm, Video Free America, 
and Optic Nerve created a network 
through which video art could be pro- 
duced and exhibited in San Francisco. 
The growing need to democratize the 
means of video production was shared by 
many video artists during the 1970s. In 
San Francisco, this movement led to the 
formation of the Bay Area Video Coalition 
(BAVC) in 1976, which continues to pro- 
vide low-cost access to broadcast-quality 
cameras and editing equipment and to offer 
instructional classes. Film Arts Foundation 
(FAF), the filmic equivalent to BAVC, was 
founded the same year. Its annual film festival 
prominently features experimental work. 

During the 1980s a new generation of artists 
emerged, many of them products of film and 
video programs at local schools such as the San 
Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco State 
University, and the California College of Arts 
and Crafts. The alternative spaces, exhibition 
programs, and production facilities organized by 
these younger artists either began as reactions to 
the curatorial policies at established showcases (as 
in the case of No Nothing Cinema, Artists' Tele- 
vision Access (ATA) , and the Other Cinema pro- 
grams at ATA), or were created to fill an important 
need (like the Video Gallery and the influential San 
Francisco International Video Festival). Mean- 
while, new personnel at established institutions were 
expanding extant programming to incorporate a 
broader range of material, such as installation, per- 
formance art, and more work by artists of color. 

Other San Francisco Bay Area venues that regular- 
ly present experimental film and video now include 
New American Makers (an offshoot of Video Free 
America), the Exploratorium, New Langton Arts, and, 
on the other side of the bay, the Pacific Film Archive, 
which presents two different programs of avant-garde 
film and video art each week in addition to its regular 
repertory programming. Ironically, the institution 
responsible for first bringing fine art cinema to San Fran- 
cisco, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, has no 
film screening program at present (film presentations 
ended there in 1978), although video installations have 
been important components of its exhibition program since 
the late eighties. The new SFMoMA building, scheduled to 
open in January 1995, will house a 350-seat film theater and 
two large galleries for video. The newly opened Center for 
the Arts at Yerba Buena Gardens contains a small screening 
room for film and video and has a special gallery for mixed 
media and video installation. However, it is too early to tell 
precisely what kind of impact these new spaces will have on 
the local exhibition scene. 

As a mecca for experimentation, the Bay Area has often 
taken the lead in advocating the interests of noncommercial 
media. By the mid-1980s, however, it had become clear that many 
curators, critics, institutions, and funding agencies throughout the 
country had jettisoned an interest in "difficult" film and video, opting 
instead to embrace more "audience friendly" material. During this 
time, experimental media exhibition centers were being systematical- 




ly defunded, and funding for experimental production was increas- 
ingly scarce. As the nineties dawned, the outlook for experimental- 
ists appeared very bleak. 

Therefore, when the newly created Independent Television 
Service (ITVS) sent out its first call for proposals in 1991, many 
artists viewed this as a blessing. After all, in its authorizing leg- 
islation, Congress had given ITVS the mandate to "expand the 
diversity and innovativeness of programming available to pub- 
lic broadcasting" and to encourage work that takes "creative 
risks." But when the list of awards was made public, experi- 
mental work was conspicuously absent. Experimental film- 
and videomakers in the Bay Area were outraged. A number 
of them arranged to meet with John Schott, then director of 
ITVS, to discuss their concerns regarding ITVS's exclusion 
of experimental work and the lack of panelists with exper- 
tise in experimental forms. Subsequently they decided to 
organize a group that would take direct action to prevent 
further inequities. 

In October 1992, an ad hoc group (including Craig 
Baldwin, David Gerstein, Linda Gibson, Chris Robbins, 
Valerie Soe, Jeffrey Skoller, and Jack Walsh) convened a 
town hall meeting in San Francisco, where over 100 peo- 
ple gathered to discuss the formation of a coalition that 
would speak for the experimental media community. As 

a result of this 
meeting, X- 
Factor was 
formed. X- 
Factor is a 
nonaffiliated 
coalition of 
Bay Area film 
and video ar- 



This image of Market Street 
in 1905, familiar to many San 
Franciscans, was recycled in 

the 1960s by Ernie Gehr in 
his experimental film Eureka. 

Courtesy S.F. Cinematheque 



tists, curators, 

and media arts 

administrators 

who advocate 

for the continued support of experimental work 

on all fronts — funding, exhibition, broadcast — 

and press for the representation of experimental 

artists on peer review panels and on the boards of 

national media lobbying groups.* 

Since its inception, X-Factor has had some 
impact. It successfully lobbied the San Francis- 
co International Film Festival to reinstate the 
"New Visions" categories for experimental film 
and video that were eliminated capriciously in 
1992. X-Factor members are currently 
involved in discussions with the new San 
Francisco library, requesting that media art 
become part of the library's acquisition, 
lending, and exhibition programs. Last June, 
X-Factor received exposure among national 
media arts organizations at the National 
Alliance for Media Arts and Culture's con- 
ference, for which it organized the panel 
"Experimentation in Film and Video in a 
Decade of Pragmatism." X-Factor con- 
currently helped assemble an issue of 
NAMAC's newsletter, MAIN, on the 
role of experimental media in the 
nineties. Featuring articles by experi- 
mental film and video artists from vary- 
ing social and aesthetic backgrounds, 
the issue forcefully illustrated X-Factor's conviction that 
the needs of experimental mediamakers are not limited solely to Bay 
Area artists, but are national in scope and urgency. 

Albert Kikhesty is the former artistic director of the Los Angeles FILMFORUM. 
He currently works at the San Francisco Cinematheque. 

* For more information on X-Factor, write: Box 411232, San Francisco, CA 94141-1232. 



22 



THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



FULCRUM MEDIA SERVICES 

THE AWARD-WINNING CHOICE FOR FILM RESEARCH A ARCHIVAL MANAGEMENT A RIGHTS CLEARANCE 



Kenn Rabin, Founder/Partner 

Credits include such award-winning documentaries, features, 
television series, and multimedia projects as 

Eyes on the Prize, Frontline, 60 Minutes, Saturday Night Live 
Vietnam: A Television History, China Beach, American Masters 
The American Experience, 20/20, Nightline, The Indian Runner 



308 LAUREL AVENUE SUITE 1 

SAN ANSELMO CALIFORNIA 94960 



TEL 415.459.4429 
FAX 415.459.4498 



SFMOMA 




GRAND OPENING ON JANUARY 18, 1995 
151 THIRD STREET • SAN FRANCISCO 



Across from the Center for the Arts and Moscone Center, the new building includes two galleries 
dedicated to media arts with exhibition spaces that can accommodate the technical requirements 
of new art forms, and a 299-seat auditorium for film, lectures and large-scale stage productions. 



COMING SOON TO SFMOMA'S CURRENT LOCATION AT 401 VAN NESS AVENUE 

IN THE SPIRIT OF FLUXUS • MAY 1 2-JULY 24 



Called the most radical art movement of the 1 960s, Fluxus was an international group of artists, 
writers, composers, filmmakers and performers including Joseph Beuys, Nam June Paik, Yoko Ono 
and Claes Oldenburg, who shared an anarchic sensibility about the function and practice of art. 



SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART 



MEDIA CENTER 

1994 SCHEDULE 

VIDEO WORKSHOPS 



INTRO TO 

VIDEO EDITING 

JANUARY 15,1:00 
FEBRUARY 12, 1:00 
MARCH 12, 1:00 
APRIL 9, 1:00 
MAY 7, 1:00 
JUNE 11, 1:00 

ADVANCED 
VIDEO EDITING 

& EFFECTS 

JANUARY 29, 1:00 
FEBRUARY 26, 1:00 
MARCH 26, 1:00 
APRIL 23, 1:00 
MAY 21, 1:00 
JUNE 25, 1:00 

INTRO TO 

VIDEO TOASTER 

JANUARY 22, 1:00 
FEBRUARY 19, 1:00 
MARCH 19, 1:00 
APRIL 16, 1:00 
MAY 14, 1:00 
JUNE 18, 1:00 

INTRO TO 

CAMCORDER 

FEBRUARYS, 1:00 
MARCH 5, 1:00 

AUDIO & LIGHTING: 
FIELD PRODUCTION 

FEBRUARY 19, 1:00 

ALL WORKSHOPS $75.00 
$55.00 EBMC MEMBERS 
HANDS ON TRAINING 
SATURDAYS- 1:00-5:00 
TO REGISTER CALL: 



MEDIA CENTER 

510- 843 - 3699 

2054 UNIVERSITY AVE. 
BERKELEY, CA 94704 



March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 23 




24 THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



Identity politics were the focal point of last year's Whitney Biennial, 
an exhibition that is traditionally designed to take the pulse of the 
contemporary art world. In both the Biennial's catalogue essays and 
subsequently in art journals like October and Artforum, it was appar- 
ent that several interrelated issues concerning the representation of 
identity were preoccupying artists, curators, and critics alike. 

Among the questions raised: Is it still possible to discover a singu- 
lar, authentic voice through creative expression when identity is the- 
orized as merely a provisional construct, impacted at various 
moments by race, class, gender, sexual orientation, etc.? If people 
who belong to marginalized groups make art about the particularities 
of their experience, are they unwittingly contributing to the corn- 
modification of difference by mainstream institutions? 

Many recent Bay Area independent films and videotapes also deal 
with these questions and issues of identity. The preponderance of 
films and videotapes made by gays, lesbians, and people of color in 
the Bay Area is not surprising, given the demographics of the region. 
But another factor affecting independent media production here is 
the rich history of formal experimentation dating from the avant- 
garde film scene that flourished in the 1960s. When dealing with 




issues of identity, these mediamakers have invented strategies that 
resist the polarizing tendencies that have characterized these debates 
elsewhere. 

As internationally recognized artists, theorists, and teachers, Trinh 
T. Minh-ha and Marlon Riggs have exercised a profound influence 
on the development of identity-based media work in the Bay Area. 
Trinh's most recent film, Shoot for the Contents (1991), reflects on the 
interface of politics and culture in the Tiananmen Square uprising. 
As in her previous films, she conflates documentary and fictional 
modes to interweave the perspectives of insiders and outsiders and to 
interrogate her own position as translator. Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien 
(No Regret), Riggs' 1992 videotape, similarly proceeds from self-inter- 
rogation; it considers the dilemma of coming out as an HIV-positive 
gay man. Five gay African-American men testify to overcoming their 
fear of disclosing their sero-positive status; the ensuing valuation of 
their identities is affirmed by the visual strategy of gradually revealing 
each speaker's physical features. 

Working from both experimental and documentary traditions, 
film- and videomakers like Barbara Hammer, Cecilia Dougherty, 
Leslie Singer, Lourdes Portillo, and Portia Cobb have produced 
groundbreaking work that successfully fuses radical form and con- 
tent. Rather than avoid the rhetorical formats formerly associated 
with the exploration of identity politics in electronic media, these 
artists utilize interviews, testimonials, reenactments, and excavated 
archival footage in innovative ways. 

In a recent interview in Afterimage about her 1992 film, Nitrate 
Kisses, Hammer stated: "Labelling ourselves is important in the con- 
text of identity politics, but at some point those labels have to break 
apart; they have to contain the gaps, holes, frayed edges as well, or 
else it's a boring, trapped, ideologically constructed life we live." 
Nitrate Kisses exemplifies this philosophy in its novel editing of gay 
and lesbian lovemaking scenes with excerpts from Dr. James Sibley 
Watson and Melville Webber's 1933 experimental film Lot in Sodom 
and voiceover interviews with gay and lesbian couples. Hammer's 



theme is the reconstruction of lost histories, but she problematizes 
the process of historical inscription with text fragments that illustrate 
how language organizes sexuality. 

Cecilia Dougherty and Leslie Singer's foe-Joe (1993) exhibits a 
more irreverent attitude toward history. Although their video is 
ostensibly a biography of gay British playwright Joe Orton, Orton is 
portrayed by two lesbians. Not only is his identity bifurcated and his 
gender altered, but his story is reenacted in present day California 
rather than in 1960s London. Dougherty and Singer also investigate 
the construction of fame, showing the process by which a celebrity's 
identity is ceded to his or her fans within our mass media-obsessed 
society. By dramatizing their fantasies about Orton, the videomakers 
graphically convey the superimposition of his persona over theirs. 
They adopt Orton's trademark leather cap and white T-shirt, but 
they wear these articles on a holiday in Santa Cruz, not Morocco. 
Likewise, they have sex in a friend's apartment rather than in a pub- 
lic lavatory. 

Joe -Joe's slapstick/slapdash construction conceals a serious ideolog- 
ical agenda: the subversive appropriation of a gay male paragon that 
counterpoints the appropriation of female attributes by drag queens. 

Lourdes Portillo's Columbus on 
Trial (1992) likewise employs 
subversive humor to articulate a 
didactic message. The 500th 
anniversary of Columbus' voy- 
age to America is commemorat- 
ed by a critical cross-examina- 
tion of the conquistador con- 
ducted by the Latino comedy 
group, Culture Clash. Portillo 
decontextualizes the performers 
by chroma-keying them into a 
flat blue electronic space, subtly 
parodying the recuperation of 
multicultural iconography under 
postcolonial corporate capitalism. 
The topicality of African- 
American videomaker Portia Cobbs' No Justice... No Peace: Black Male 
IM Mediate (1992) is crucial to its theme: the numbing effect of the 
continual repetition on television of the footage of Rodney King's 
beating. Cobbs counteracts the media's normalization of police bru- 
tality by intercutting interviews with black men who describe their 
experiences of unprovoked police harassment. Cobb's media savvy is 
also demonstrated by her application of another technique: she re- 
edits network news footage to create new image and sound juxtapo- 
sitions that foreground the insidious racial biases of the reportage. 

Whereas independent film and videomakers of the 1980s often 
fetishized cultural theory by directly quoting prominent theorists or 
illustrating theoretical concepts in an obvious manner, younger 
artists now take such complex theoretical insights for granted. Their 
easy familiarity with theory allows them to embody it in their work 
without explicitly evoking it as a legitimizing factor. Jean Cheng's 
Across a Paper Ocean (1993), Wendy Chien's Assimilation/ a simula- 
tion (1993), and Liz Canning's Handmirror/Brush Set Included (1993) 
are predicated on concepts of identity as fluid and contingent on fluc- 
tuating contexts. 

In Across a Paper Ocean, Cheng fashions a compelling film portrait 
of her maternal grandmother while eschewing the authenticating 
imperatives of a traditional search for roots. Because her now- 
deceased grandmother never left Taiwan, they never met. Cheng's 
knowledge of her is derived exclusively from mediated sources: pho- 
tographs, recordings of Taiwanese music, and family stories. In the 
film's voiceover narration, Cheng remarks, "Her experiences are writ- 
ten in a language I don't understand." 

Chien analogously explores the vagaries of assimilation in her 
16mm film, Assimilation/a simulation. The title plays on the similar 
sounds of the words, as well as the ways the processes of "assimila- 
tion" and "simulation" reinforce each other. Chien focuses on the 
emulation of Caucasian stereotypes of beauty by Chinese women. A 
coaxing English-language lesson tape accompanies shots of women 



March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 25 



applying eye makeup, setting their hair, and smoking. As the film pro- 
gresses, the protagonist begins to realize the political implications of 
assimilation, with its correlative of internalized racism. Chien also 
addresses the impossibility of reclaiming a nonhybrid identity. She 
includes the ruminations of another character who, referring to a 
photo of Audrey Hepburn, states, "I try to make the best of what I 
have. I'm not copying anything. We think that look is beautiful." 

The tyrannical imposition of idealized standards of beauty by the 
mass media affects white women as well as women of color. Liz Can- 
ning's video Handmirror /Brush Set Included is a dizzying video collage 
of bizarre scraps of found footage, ranging from instructional film- 
strips to vintage commercials, pornography, and claymation. The per- 
formative provisionality of gender boundaries is apparent in the frag- 
ments Canning has scavenged. The protagonist of her experimental 
narrative vacillates between lesbian and heterosexual role-playing in 
her struggle to overcome restrictive gender conditioning and become 
an autonomous individual. Recent tapes by Christiane Robbins (I.D., 
1992) and Kathy Brew (Mixed Messages, 1990) likewise astutely cri- 
tique the "beauty trap." 

Fresh approaches to feminist concerns also figure in new work by 
Kathleen Sweeney, Lynne Sachs, and Lynne Kirby. Rather than per- 
petuating the theoretical split between the identity-as-essence versus 
social-construction theories, their media work posits ways to combine 
these two premises. In her video M/OTHER (1993), Sweeney utilizes 
clips from the Hollywood melodramas Stella Dallas and Mildred Pierce 
to examine the emotional ambivalence inherent in mother/daughter 
relationships. One sequence in this densely layered tape consists of a 
montage of book covers that portray matriarchal goddesses. By 
depicting goddess worship as mediated by texts, Sweeney acknowl- 
edges that essentialist feminism is itself a socially constructed theory. 
But its consequent provisionality does not preclude its deliberate use 
to affirm women's power. 

Sachs' The House of Science (1991) uses optically printed graphics 
to demonstrate the inscription of gender by the scientific establish- 
ment. Her "house of science" is a crude drawing of a house that func- 
tions as a travelling matte. Women dance inside it, although their 
bodies are subjected to medical measurement and regulation tech- 
niques. Sachs' voiceover diaries describe her body's division into "the 
body of the body" and "the body of the mind." Like Sweeney, she 
seems to realize that female essence does not precede the acquisition 
of language, but functions as a byproduct of linguistic alienation. 
Paradoxically, the wholeness Sachs longs for is attainable by writing 
in her diary, not through a nostalgic return to a lost authenticity. 

The formal strategies Lynne Kirby utilizes to investigate questions 
of gender, race, and class in relation to narrative are innovative and 
illuminating. Her film Three Domestic Interiors (1993) is composed 
entirely of static shots of people's living rooms. A solitary character 
enters the shot and a brief interlude of speech or activity occurs. 
Gradually, the viewer can piece the scenes together to create a story. 
However, Kirby did not intend the interludes to resolve into a perfect 
pattern. Abdicating the authoritative narrative voice, Kirby deliber- 
ately cedes her mastery to the viewer, leaving her suggestive frag- 
ments open to interpretation. 

A comparable lack of dogmatism seems to typify Bay Area film and 
video that deals with identity-related issues. Peter Adair's Absolutely 
Positive (1991) and Mark Huestis' Sex Is... (1993) both employ the 
interview format to explore the significance of sex in gay men's lives. 
By interviewing individuals of various ages and races, Adair and 
Huestis refrain from constructing a monolithic or idealized gay HIV- 
positive subject. Jack Walsh's fan letter/video addressed to Rock 
Hudson, Dear Rock (1993), examines from a personal vantage point 
the homophobic reactions to the star's AIDS-related death. Walsh 
recontextualizes clips from Hudson's movies by combining them with 
a voiceover that conveys his own desire for the actor. The homo- 
erotic subtext Walsh reveals in these Hollywood films resonates 
poignantly with the attitudes of ignorance and neglect in response to 
the epidemic he chronicles. 

The constant invention of novel approaches to form and content 
in Bay Area independent media may be partially attributed to the 
stimulating educational environment provided by universities and art 
schools in the region. Despite funding problems, San Francisco State 



University, Stanford University, the San Francisco Art Institute, and 
California College of Arts and Crafts all sponsor vital programs in 
film and video production. While researching this article, I viewed 
several tapes and films by students or recent graduates of these pro- 




grams that impressed me, both with their relevance to current 
debates about identity politics and their overall quality. 

Frank Crosby's fictionalized film tribute to his African-American 
grandmother, Hunger of Memory (1993), focuses on her determina- 
tion to be a writer by mapping voiceover quotations from her journals 
onto domestic articles from her house. Also questioning the ground- 
ing of identity in the home is Marina McDougall's film If You Lived 
Here You'd Be Home B;y Now (1993). This piece inventories new con- 
figurations of public space within a landscape altered by automobile 
culture and electronic technologies. La Reina (1993), by Alfonso 
Alvarez, features lusciously processed images of the Virgin of 
Guadalupe, evoking the original significance of representational 
iconography as an aid to ritual magic. 

The proliferation of film and video production in the Bay Area tes- 
tifies to the commitment of artists and documentarians who consis- 
tently contribute their own economic resources toward the comple- 
tion of their projects. The makers mentioned here are motivated not 
only by their desire to create aesthetically nuanced work, but also by 
their need to affirm their identities. The new rhetorical tropes and 
ideological tactics they have invented to accomplish these aims 
enhance the efficacy of their work. 

Christine Tamblyn is a conceptual artist and media critic who teaches at San 
Francisco State University's Inter- Arts Center. 



26 



THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



June is Mecca-time in San Francisco. The tem- 
perature is typically 78 degrees by day, 62 
degrees by night, as the brochure for the the 
San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay 
Film Festival will tell you. 

The festival, an annual event sponsored by 
Frame line, a nonprofit gay and lesbian media 
organization, comes at a time of year when 
strangers travel to the Bay area from all around 
the world to strip down to muscle T's and 
dance to Gay Pride Month. Cafes fill, bars 
overflow, and lines stretch around the block at 
the festival's home base, the Castro Theater. 



Last year, this low-budget film-festival-that-roared drew 51,000 
viewers, making it the second largest film festival in a region that's 
awash in them (the Bay Area has about 20 major film festivals — on 
average, one every third week). The S.F. International Film Festival 
drew 60,759, the Mill Valley Film Festival 30,000, the Jewish Film 
Festival 28,000, and National Asian American Telecommunication 
Art's film festival 7,500. But while a festival like Mill Valley has a 
budget of $420,000 (with another $420,000 in donations), Frame- 
line's festival budget was a meager $285,000. There are 45 other gay 
and lesbian film festivals in the world, but even at this budgetary 
level, Frameline's is still the largest. In its 18th year, it's also the old- 
est. And it is becoming the most significant for international visibili- 
ty and sales. Last year, 25 to 30 buyers trekked to the festival. 

The trajectory of Frameline's festival over the past 18 years reflects 
both the growth and increased popularity of gay and lesbian media, 
as well as the vicissitudes of the larger gay and lesbian community. In 
1981, the fifth year of the festival, Dianne Feinstein was the mayor of 
San Francisco. AIDS was breaking news. The mainstream gay-friend- 
ly film Making Love was somewhere in the Hollywood production 
pipeline — and audiences were actually excited by the prospect of its 
completion. Frameline's five-day festival boasted shows by Arthur 
Dong, Barbara Hammer, and Terence Davies. Opening night fea- 
tured a 30-minute documentary (Greetings from Washington, D.C. by 
Lucy Winer) about the first-ever gay March on Washington. Seminal 
gay film critic/historian Vito Russo performed his clip and commen- 
tary show "The Celluloid Closet." 

Since then, forces both tragic and catalytic have turned the festi- 
val into an event with as many political and social functions as aes- 
thetic ones. In 1985, the festival showed Rob Epstein's The Times of 
Harvey Milk, which had won an Academy Award for documenting 
the tragedy of San Francisco city commissioner Harvey Milk's mur- 
der. In 1988, Frameline put five films on national tour with the 





Names Project AIDS Quilt. In 1990, Vito Russo died from AIDS. By 
1991, younger gay and lesbian mediamakers had come of age under 
the specter of AIDS and were making works that changed the world's 
understanding of it. 

In 1991, the festival screened Over Our Dead Bodies, by Stuart 
Marshall, on AIDS activism in the U.S. and U.K., as well as Robert 
Hilferty's Stop the Church and Peter Adair's Absolutely Positive. Hil- 
ferty's film on ACT UP's demonstration against Cardinal O'Connor 
at St. Patrick's Cathedral was yanked from its slot in P.O.V.'s sched- 
ule after series executives worried that its confrontational tone would 
set off a conservative backlash similar to that elicited by Marlon 



March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 27 







Every stage of production for 
Motion Picture, Video 
and Still Photography. 

Forty-three Years of 

Sales, Service and 

Rentals. 



©Adolph 



181 Second Street 
San Francisco, C A 94105 

800-994-2773 



wb-zvi^t^jirv f\* it-iiA 



Gmduare 
fVnogmm 



At the University of Southern California, 

we are looking for new passionate 

voices. The future generations of 

writers and directors. 



Semester-long courses on screen writing, 

directing, acting, editing, and video. 

Outstanding international instructors like 
Frank Daniel. Nina Foch, Jeremy Kagan, 
Charlie Peters, Sylvia Morales and many 
others. 

Dally Interaction with tellow screenwriters 
and student filmmakers 

An M.F.A. in Screenwrirjng from the oldest 
film school In the country. 



For more Information about admission and what 
sets USCs Program apart from the rest, contact 



Graduate Sereenwijfing Program 
School ot Cinema-TV 
University ot Southern California 
University Park 
Los Angeles. CA 90089-2211 
(213) 740-3339 



m\ 



y 

CINEMA 

TELEVBON 



Deadline for admission is December 10 for the 
following fall term, 



Riggs' Tongues Untied. That same year the festival was similarly targeted by right-wing media 
watchers as a source of unwholesome imagery. It was defunded by the National Endowment 
for the Arts, although Frameline's distribution wing still gets NEA funds. 

By 1993, the outlook had changed again. San Francisco lesbian supervisor Roberta Acht- 
enberg was invited to join the Clinton Administration. Miramax had The Crying Game, the 
SF International Film Festival had Orlando, HBO had And the Band Played On, and, with a 
more gay-friendly mainstream social climate, the SF International Lesbian and Gay Film Fes- 
tival had more freedom to expand its agenda. 

With that freedom, the festival cast its net across continents. In 1993 guest curator Paul 
Lee helped highlight the gender-flipping traditions of Asian cinema — as seen in older films 
like Black Lizard (1968, Kinji Fukasaku) and Funeral Parade of Roses (1969, Toshio Mat- 
sumoto) — as well as appreciate gay identity politics in East Asian nations. The festival 
screened Hong Kong commercial film The East Is Red, The Wedding Banquet, a Taiwanese film 
by New York resident Ang Lee, which moved on to broader distribution, and the Thai cross- 
dressing documentary Ladyboys, among others. 

Although the festival is its most visible activity, Frameline offers distribution and consult- 
ing services which, all combined, make this small, nonprofit organization an extremely influ- 
ential part of the gay and lesbian media world. At its inception in 1981, distribution was a 
labor of necessity. Back then, there was no other regular source for lesbian and gay film. 
Frameline decided to start renting works to keep difficult-to-obtain foreign films by indepen- 



Irma Aden's Belle was screened at last year's San Francisco International . 
Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, which drew over 50,000 viewers. ~\i. % - \*3^ 

Courtesy Frameline 


w» ^ 


> 




Jffcr, ^^- i 


* 









dent gay and lesbian makers in the country, according to former festival director Michael 
Lumpkin in an interview with Golden Gate University graduate student Lauri Tanner. Now 
it distributes 160 titles, from Gus Van Sant's Mala Noche to Marlon Riggs' Tongues Untied, 
sending them out to schools, colleges, theaters, and community groups. 

In its home in the Film Arts Foundation building South of Market, it's both clearinghouse 
and resource center. "Basically, we get a million phone calls from all over the world: people 
wanting films or advice about how to put on a festival," explained archivist and festival codi- 
rector Jenni Olson. Last year, Olson received calls from TriStar and HBO. They were looking 
for activist footage for Philadelphia and And the Band Played On. Gus Van Sant needed some 
lesbian porn footage for Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. When the archival hotline's not abuzz, 
Olson is giving advice to other festivals, like New York's Mix and New Festival, and Los 
Angeles' International Gay and Lesbian Film and Video Festival. 

The First Gay Erotic Film Awards in 1993, cosponsored by the San Francisco AIDS Foun- 
dation, turned community outreach up a notch. Local filmmakers were encouraged to create 
safe-sex porn films during the year — Frameline, Falcon Studios (a local porn studio), and the 
AIDS Foundation sponsored workshops — and the winners of the contest were screened to a 
standing-room-only crowd at the Castro's 1,550-seat theater. Year-round at the Eye Gallery 
in San Francisco, Frameline screens films, and it also cosponsors screenings with other festi- 
vals. 

Much as programmers in San Francisco would like to see themselves at a big film potluck 
when it comes to sharing ("We all want what's best for the film," Laura Thielen from the SF 
International Film Festival explains, echoing the sentiments of Janice Plotkin at the Jewish 
Film Festival and Frameline's exhibitions and festival director Mark Finch), the process of 
deciding who gets what often looks more like a tug-of-war. 

This year, NAATA got first dibs on Arthur Dong's eagerly awaited Coming Out Under Fire, 
a film about gays in the military. Although the film doesn't have any particular Asian focus, 
and it doesn't interview Asian Americans, it's made by Dong, an Asian American director 
based in Los Angeles — a director whose work NAATA has shown from the beginning. Frame- 
line is going to cosponsor the film on NAATA's closing night. 

Last year, the S.F. International Film Festival lost Christine Parker's Forbidden Love to 
Frameline's festival after Thielen had been following the film for months. The filmmakers, dis- 
tributors, and programmers decided it would be in the film's best interest, since Frameline was 



28 THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



intending to play this documentary about 
lesbian pulp novels on opening night. But 
the SF International Festival gave Sally Pot- 
ter's gender-bender-through-time epic 
Orlando high profile, giving it the Satyajit 
Ray award. 

Although Frameline and the S.F. Interna- 
tional Film Festival have worked out their 
struggles, the premiere policy these festivals 
follow (films must be Bay Area premieres) 
makes them difficult festival neighbors. 
(Frameline's festival falls close on the heels 
of the S.F. International Film Festival, which 
is held in late April through early May.) 
"When you have a premiere policy, you put 
the festival above the film," Paul Mayeda 
Berges, NAATA's festival director, says. 
"You put filmmakers in position to make a 
false choice. And fewer people see the films." 

"To ask why Orlando is not in the [Frame- 
line] festival misses a point," Finch counters. 
"Orlando is possible because of the range of 
images in this festival. We're here to show 
work that would otherwise not be seen." The 
difference between Frameline's festival and 
others in San Francisco is not simply a dif- 
ference of budgets, staff, outreach, or intent. 
It's in cinema history and in the relationship 
between lesbians and gays and the medium 
itself. 

"Unlike ethnicity," Finch explains, "sexu- 
al orientation is obviously more difficult to 
perceive in real life. Lesbians and gays need 
to represent themselves visually to know 
who 'we' are." If you look at the history of 
this imaging — from the work of Andy 
Warhol and Jack Smith to Todd Haynes and 
Su Friedrich — you also see a history of the 
boundaries of film. Besides working inside 
the Hollywood industry, "passing", and/or 
subverting more mainstream films, gays and 
lesbians have often worked in the margins of 
film, experimenting with form. 

While the festival has always shown a 
range of programs, from historically impor- 
tant directors like Dorothy Arzner to S.F.- 
based pornographers like Blush Entertain- 
ment, the S.F. Lesbian and Gay Internation- 
al Film Festival has also had a tradition of 
promoting experimental envelope-pushers, 
like Derek Jarman and Barbara Hammer. 
Films that other festivals (and the NEA) 
consider pornographic, obscene, or unfit for 
viewing, Frameline has considered its bread 
and butter. 

As a result, corporate sponsors and foun- 
dations have shied away from funding this 
festival for years. (It receives much less spon- 
sorship than other festivals its size.) But the 
current staff doesn't want to mess with the 
successful community-based, experimentally 
focused formula. "We can't change too 
much," Finch says. "It's like an ecosystem; it 
would throw the whole thing off. We want to 
be the most progressive, as well as the 
biggest, oldest, and most exciting gay and 
lesbian film festival in the world." 

Susan Gerhard is a film critic for the SF Bay 
Guardian and a videomaker who lives in San Francis- 
co. Her work has appeared in Visions, Future Sex, 
Girljock, Planet Girl, and other publications. 



FILM INDUSTRY SOFTWARE 

Plotting • Outlining • Structuring • Writing • Formatting • 
Budgeting • Scheduling • Storyboarding • Multimedia 

IBM and MACINTOSH SALES & SERVICE 

...the best place to buy a Computer Los Angeles Magazine 

Now serving the Bay Area Film and Writing Community 

The Writers f Computer Store 

3001 Bridgeway Avenue, Sausalito, CA 94965 S 415-332-7005 




LENGSFELDER 



FILM 



VIDEO 



FOCUSED 8 EDUCATION 




Ir national clients include 
Westinghouse and Cox Broadcasting, 

Addison-Wesley Publishing, Lotus 

Software, 21st Century Learning Corp., 

the State of California 

and Wells Fargo Banks. 

San Francisco/Fairfax, CA 415.485.0350 
Call for sample reels. 



MDIVIDUALLT 

CRAETED 

STORIES E0R 

AND AD0UT 

CHILDREN, 

AMD 

THEIR 

EnviRonriEriT 

E0R BROADCAST, 

none ahd 

WSTITUTIOriS. 




f~* || J ,IVlr'^rA\ tr~* 1 1™ The T°°' for Planning Successful Rims 

Producers... Impress investors! 

Know how much money your next film could generate! 

RlmProfit™ software for DOS or Mac will help you determine a film's market 
potential and print out income scenarios for your Theatrical, Direct to Video or 
Documentary projects. The FUmProfit™ Guide is full of hard-to-get information 
that takes you step-by-step through theatrical, video, cable, and TV deals. At 
only $99.95, Filmmaker Magazine says "FilmProfit is a good investment. 
Call now for our Independent special! 



voice/fax outside CA 

1-800-474-3060 



voice/fax inside CA 

415-431-5149 



a division of big horse inc. ^Y 
1536 18th st sfca 94107 



March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 29 




18 

INTERNATIONAL 



18th San Francisco International 
Lesbian & Gay Film Festival® 

San Francisco San Jose Palo Alto Berkeley 

June 9 -19 1994 

Info: 41 5 703 8650/ 1800 869 1996 



i 



FRAMELINE 
DISTRIBUTION 

The finest in lesbian and gay 
film and video for the educational, 
theatrical and broadcast markets. 




346 Ninth Street 

San Francisco, CA 94103 

1:415.703.8654/5 

f: 415.861.1404 

call or write for a free 1994 catalog. 



Bay Area 
Festivals 



AMERICAN INDIAN FILM 

FESTIVAL & 

VIDEO EXPOSITION 

Held mid-November; 
call for deadlines. 
Founded in 1 975, Ameri- 
can Indian Film Festival 
is oldest & most recog- 
nized int'l film exposition 
dedicated to Native 
Americans in cinema. 
AIFI, 333 Valencia St., 
ste. 322, SF, CA 94103; 
(415) 554-0525. 

BLACK FILMW0RKS FESTIVAL 
OF FILM & VIDEO 

Held in April; call for deadlines. 
The organization is currently undergoing review of 
its exhibition & competition schedules. Contact for 
updates: BFHFI, 405 14th St., ste. 515, Oak- 
land, CA 94612; (510) 465-0804. 

CINEQUEST, THE SAN JOSE FILM FESTIVAL 
Held late October, deadline early August. 
Fest focuses on American "maverick filmmaking, " 
wl add'l complements of int'l ind. films, seminars, 
"film feast" evenings & children's programs. 
Cinequest, Box 720040, San Jose, CA 95172- 
0040; (408) 995-6305. 

EAST BAY VIDEO FESTIVAL 

Held late November, deadline mid-October 
Estab. 1 980 in Berkeley to provide video & televi- 
sion technologies access & training for East Bay 
communities. 

East Bay Video Festival, 2054 University Ave., 
ste. 203, Berkeley, CA 94704; (510) 843-3699. 

FILM ARTS FESTIVAL 
Held early November; deadline late July. 
Sponsored by Film Arts Foundation, fest highlights 
locally produced Bay Area works in all lengths, 
formats & genres. 

Film Arts Foundation, 346 Ninth St., 2nd fl., 
SF, CA 94103; (415)552-8760. 

HUMBOLDT INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 
Held April, deadline February (video) &. 
March 11 (film). 

This 27-year-old fest, held in northern CA, is 
organized & presented by students from Humboldt 
State Univ.; works in all genres by students & 
independents eligible. 

Humboldt International Film Festival, Theatre 
Arts Dept., Humboldt State Univ., Areata, CA 
95521; (707) 826-4113. 

JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL 
Held late July; call for deadlines. 
Jewish Film Festival was created in 1981 to show- 
case contemporary films from around world on 
Jewish subjects & to strengthen awareness of Jew- 
ish secular culture. 

Jewish Film Festival, 2600 10th St., Berkeley, 
CA 94710; (510)548-0556. 

MILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL AND VIDE0FEST 

Held early October, deadline late June. 
Invitational noncompetitive fest dedicated to US & 
int'l ind. film/video; held north of SF. 
Mill Valley Film Festival & Videofest, 38 
Miller Ave., ste. 6, Mill Valley, CA 94941; 
(415) 383-5256. 

NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL 
Held mid-May, competition deadline early 
December; market deadline early April. 
Founded in 1 970, leading US fest/market for edu- 




cational media & largest 
West Coast venue for 
nonfiction work. 
NEFVF, 655 13th St., 
Oakland, CA 94612- 
1222; (510) 465-6885; 
fax: 465-2835. 

POETRY FILM AND 
VIDE0P0EM FESTIVAL 

Held mid-late Novem- 
ber; call for deadlines. 
Int'l competitive fest 
founded in 1 975 by Poet- 
ry Film Workshop; focus- 
es on works incorporating 
verbal poetic statement. 
Poetry Film/Video Fes- 
tival, Fort Mason Cen- 
ter, Building "D", SF, 
CA 94123; (415) 776- 
6602. 

SAN FRANCISCO 
ASIAN AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 
Held early March, deadline mid-October. 
National Asian American Telecommunications 
Arts presents this annual showcase of film & video 
by/about Asian-Pacific & Asian-Pacific Amer- 
icans. 

NAATA, 346 Ninth St., 2nd fl., SF, CA 
94103; (415) 863-0814. 

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 
Held late April - early May; call for deadlines. 
Begun in 1957, SFIFF is Western Hemisphere's 
oldest film fest. Films incl. in noncompetitive pro- 
gram by invitation only, but fest also offers Golden 
Gate Awards, int'l competition wl 32 cats. 
SF Film Society, 1521 Eddy St., SF, CA 941 15- 
4102; (415) 567-4641. 

SAN FRANCISCO 
INTERNATIONAL LESBIAN & GAY FILM FESTIVAL 
Held mid-June, deadline end of February. 
SFIL&GFF/ Frameline, 346 Ninth St., SF, CA 
94103; (415) 703-8650. 



THE FOLLOWING GROUPS HAVE RECENTLY BEGUN 

PRODUCING FILM & VIDEO FEST EVENTS. PLEASE 

CONTACT THEM FOR DETAILS: 



• FESTIVAL iCINE LATINO! Cine Accion, Bay Area 
Latino media arts center, 346 Ninth St.. 2nd fl., SF, CA 
94103; (415) 553-8135. 

• PCTV GLOBAL AFRICA INTERNATIONAL FILM & 
VIDEO FESTIVAL Peralta Colleges Television. Laney Col- 
lege. 900 Fallon St., Oakland, CA 94709; (510) 464-3253. 

• SACRAMENTO GAY & LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL, 
2214 Arden Way, ste. 138, Sacramento, CA 95825; (916) 
489-6397 or 863-3497. 

• SAN FRANCISCO IRISH FILM FESTIVAL World 
Trade Center of SF, ste. 280, SF, CA 94111; (415) 392-1109. 

• SAN FRANCISCO ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTI- 
VA L The Institute for Food & Development Policy/Food 
First, 398 60th St., Oakland, CA 94618; (510) 654-4400. 

• SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY-VISUAL ARTISTS 
ANNUAL FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL Associated Stu- 
dents Program Board, Student Union Room 350, San Jose, 
CA 95192-0132; (408) 924-6264 or 6261. 

• SHORT ATTENTION SPAN FILM & VIDEO FESTI- 
VAL Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia St., SF, CA 
94110; (415) 824-3890. 

Compiled by Lauri Tanner 

Lauri Tanner, arts administrator & consultant in SF, is 

currently writing a manual "How to Start and Operate 

Film and Video Festivals." 



30 THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



From start 



n 



c 



F^ 



lD 



to finish. 



Video Dub does it all. 



• Post-production 

• Customization 



Duplication 
Distribution 



From editing to broadcast and high volume VHS duplication 

to distribution - whatever your needs, Video Dub does it for you! 

So call us today, and get the whole job done. 




VIDEO DUB INC. 



mm 



423 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019 (212) 757-3300 
235 Pegasus Avenue, Northvale, NJ 07647 (201) 767-7077 

A Video Services Corporation Company 

1-800-88-DUB-IT 



March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 31 



Tal ki ngf-#eac/s 



craig bald win 



NO-BUDGET VISIONARY 




EN S 



^There's a great story in today's paper," 
exclaims Craig Baldwin in his highly 
excitable mode of address. Words and ideas 
spill over one another in a nonstop ticker- 
tape rattle as he rifles through a stack of 
newspapers. "Here it is: 'Germany Used 
Cadavers To Test Their Cars.' Well, I can 
identify with that! I like to experiment on 
films, to make the work that much more 
charged or powerful; you know, cutting up 
images from the past, having fun with them, 
and pulling their ironies out." 

Baldwin is not being morbid or glib; he's 
searching for the appropriate carnival bark- 



er's metaphor to describe his no-budget 
visionary approach to film. A self-described 
"media savage," Baldwin — as a collector and 
purveyor of junked film scraps; as a found- 
footage filmmaker (Wild Gunman, 1978; 
RocketKitKongoKit, 1985; Tribulation 99: 
Alien Anomalies Under America, 1991; O No 
Coronado!, 1992); and as programmer of the 
willfully eclectic Other Cinema series at San 
Francisco's Artists' Television Access — is as 
likely to yank ideas from obscure headlines 
as he is to draw momentum from Northern 
California's long tradition of media prank- 
sterism. 



TTa native, is perhaps best 
known for the found-footage diatribe 
Tribulation 99, a hilarious, tabloid-style para- 
noiac's rant with an aggressive montage that 
fuses Japanese monster flicks and Encyclo- 
pedia Britannica educational-industrial films 
into a whirlwind of pseudo-political specula- 
tion. Cattle mutilations and Latin American 
communism are "shown" to have resulted 
from an invasion of mind-controlling 
mutants operating from the Earth's hollow 
interior, and comic substitutions abound: 
Lon Chaney's Wolfrnan, for example, stands 
in for Manuel Noriega. 

"I've always approached filmmaking from 
the point of view of political satire, like 
Lenny Bruce, to name one titan," says Bald- 
win. "The idea of dark comedy in my work 
isn't about resolving problems so much as 
opening up a space to problematize the issue 
and throw people into disarray." 

Baldwin began collecting found footage 
while working in a variety of porno and 
mainstream movie theaters in the 1970s. "It 
was always just lying around, but it was very 
degraded — films on the floor, thrown away 
— and it forced me to develop a very exis- 
tential relationship with film in the real 
world. And I think that fostered my attrac- 
tion to the film qualities of stress, degrada- 
tion, and wear. When I started making films, 
I found that I wasn't so much interested in 
creating new and very expensive images, but 
in rescuing and reanimating film cast-offs. I 
used every available resource to get them: I'd 
dumpster dive at TV stations or buy them 
from other collectors. Labs would give me 
their rejects and seconds, and I'd rummage 



32 



THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



around in the backs of movie theaters. I col- 
lect a lot of junk anyway — it's the nature of 
my personality." 

A longtime programmer at alternative 
filmspaces, Baldwin for the past several years 
has shared his workspace with Artists 
Television Access, a multi-disciplinary 
media arts center in the Mission District. 
The Other Cinema series he runs out of the 
ATA on Saturday nights furthers Baldwin's 
collision-aesthetic: you're as likely to find 
Narwok of the North as early Sally Potter, 
recent Sadie Benning, or a historical lecture 
on the evolution of Godzilla. 

"When I started Other Cinema, I did 
three shows a week: The Rad, The Mad, and 
The Bad. The Rad was the more political 
thing, documentary stuff; The Mad were fine 
art works and artists' visions; and The Bad 
was the exploitation or schlock cinema, 
which I have an abiding interest in. It was 
this kind of Oedipal triangle that really 
shows you the drive and the neurosis behind 
my method." 

Last year, Baldwin completed O No 
Coronado!, a delirious meditation on the 
Spanish conquistadors' hellbent search for 
the Seven Cities of Gold. The film is full of 
purposefully cheesy "historical recreations." 

"It's like Frank Capra's Why We Fight: a 
little bit essay, little bit narrative, little bit 
newsreel, plus archival, industrial, anima- 
tion, and even some Video Toaster special 
effects," Baldwin explains. "That film's say- 
ing, 'Hey, I may be a completely strapped 
low-budget filmmaker, but I can manage to 
express this idea in a kind of weird cinemat- 
ic shorthand, and at about 1/1, 000th of the 
budget of Cabeza de Vaca!" 

Currently Baldwin is at work on a film 
about digital sampling technology, the cor- 
porate control of culture, and the Fair Use 
provision of copyright law. "What's happen- 
ing in the margins of our media-saturated 
world with people like Negativeland [an 
experimental music group that used samples 
of a song by U2 and was consequently sued 
by U2's parent company, Warner Bros.] is 
that they're picking up on the possibilities of 
new technologies and using them to talk 
back to mainstream culture in a good faith 
way," Baldwin says. "That's the whole defin- 
ition of parody and satire that's written into 
the Fair Use law: to redeem critical activity 
as something healthy and salubrious for the 
culture. There's a formal symmetry between 
what Negativeland is doing and what I'm 
doing: using pieces of expropriated film." 
Baldwin pauses for a moment; then his 
prankster's smirk returns. "I'll tell you one 
thing: It won't be fairhanded, it won't 
indulge in this mythic idea of objectivity or 
balance. That's for sure!" 

Chuck Stephens 

Chuck Stephens writes about film and visual 
media for the San Francisco Bay Guardian. 



mm 



mmu& iiMiriimin 



Makeup ♦ Hair . Wardrobe 
Film . Video . TV . Print 
Commercials . Industrials 
Beauty • Character 
Period 




415-282.5133 San Francisco 



THE 17TH ANNUAL 

MILL VALLEY 
FILM FESTIVAL 

OCTOBER 6-16, 1994 




"Of all the film festivals, there aren't many that make 
movie-going more fun, hang-loose and less pretentious 
than the annual Mill Valley Film Festival." 

-Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle 

FOR INFORMATION: 

38 MILLER AVENUE #6 , MILL VALLEY, CA 94941 

TEL: (415) 383-5256 FAX: (415)383-8606 



VIDEOTAPE TRANSCRIPTS with time code! 

...from VHS window dubs 



Fast Turnaround 
Verbatim Transcription 
Complete Confidentiality 



• Interviews 

• Seminars 

• Meetings 

Save time and money on your unscripted shoots! 



PERFECT PAGES 



510-763-7875 



March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 33 



The Suffolk County 

Motion Picture and 

Television Commission 



presents 

the 

LONG ISLAND 

FILM & VIDEO 

FESTIVAL 



Call for Entries 

for 

1994 



Entry Forms: 

SUFFOLK COUNTY 

MOTION PICTURE/TV 

COMMISSION 




Dept. of Economic Development 

H. Lee Dennison Building 

Veterans Memorial Highway 

Hauppauge, New York 11788 

516-853-4800 
1-800-542-0031 






^^ »hn knoop 
FILMIVfcKER/CINEMATOGRAPHER 



by Lis! 




IBBS 



Knoop's 30-year career as a 
cinematographer, producer, and director is 
an inspiring example of one man's dedica- 
tion to his cre- 
ative and philo- 
sophical view- 
points and his 
belief in the 
expressive 
potential of film 
and video. 

Having worked 
exclusively out 
of the same 
South of Mar- 
ket loft since 
1968, Knoop 
embodies a 
thumbnail his- 
tory of Bay 
Area alterna- 
tive film, from 
its early Can- 
yon Cinema 
days to its cur- 
rent status as a 
center of social 
and political 
documentary. 

Known pri- 
marily as a doc- 
umentarian, 
Knoop has 
made more 
than 15 films 

and videos of his own and estimates having 
shot nearly 100 works with upwards of 30 
directors since picking up a motion-picture 
camera in 1964. He has worked on such 
recently acclaimed films as Susana Munoz 
and Erica Marcus' M} Home, My Prison 
(1992), about Palestinian journalist Ray- 
monda Tawil's pioneering role in establish- 
ing an Israeli-Palestinian dialogue for peace; 
Camino Films' Maria's Story (1990), an inti- 
mate portrait of FMLN leader Maria Serrano 
in El Salvador; and Knoop's own Report from 
Iraq (1991), which documents the findings 
of a group of lawyers, doctors, and students 
who travelled to Iraq immediately after the 
Gulf War to assess the damage. Since 1990 
Knoop has also worked as a codirector (with 
Elizabeth Farnsworth) and as a cinematogra- 
pher for the MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour on 
reports from Vietnam, Cambodia, Peru, 




Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and El 
Salvador. 

But Knoop is not just another camera-guy 
commando tempting fate in the name of 
documentary journalism. His seasoned and 
thoughtful approach toward his subjects and 
the overall context of a piece demonstrate 
an instinctive ability to communicate and 
establish basic human bonds. The resulting 
work is often a mixture of historical docu- 
ment and per- 
sonal reflec- 
tion. His most 
recent film, 
about a rafting 
expedition 
through Cen- 
tral Asia, is a 
far cry from 
the standard 
outdoor ad- 
venture film. 
River Out of 
Time (1993) 
concentrates 
instead on the 
subtle cross- 
cultural en- 
counters be- 
tween indige- 
nous peoples 
and outsiders 
and how their 
different cul- 
tures, histories, 
and customs 
overlap at 

common junc- 
tures. The 
film's low-key, 
almost non- 
chalant un- 
folding gives the piece an eloquent sense of 
the quotidian, in much the same way 
Knoop's work in more hostile shooting situa- 
tions reflects an immediacy. "Basically, I try 
to get close to people who can express what 
the situation is," Knoop explains. "The emo- 
tions of such situations are often so strong, 
so clear, that I really do disappear, and the 
event speaks for itself." 

Originally from the Midwest, Knoop's 
only formal schooling was a brief stint at 
New York's Columbia University studying 
literature. After an extended journey by 
motorcycle through Central and South 
America and a three-year residency in Spain 
working as a writer, Knoop returned to the 
United States in the early 1960s and was 
hired as a journalist for a Midwestern agri- 
cultural publication, The Farm Quarterly. 
Still photography, then later cinematogra- 



34 THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



IETACAM SP EDITING SUITE 

Studio or Field Camera Packages 

COMPUTER SPECIAL EFFECTS 

Video Digitizing (60 field, full frame) 
High Speed Single Frame Animation 

SHOOTING STAGE ^ 

1500 sq.ft. Studio 





J DEQ — J=LRJE-& — rAMERl€r 

442 SHOTWELL ST. SAN FRANCISCO, CA 941 10 
PHONE 415/648-9040 FAX 4 1 5/648-096 1 jf 



''First hand-held moving picture camera with long lens 



Intensive, Hands-on 
Immersion Programs 



* Film Production 

* 3D Computer tarnation 

* Classical Huimation 

* Electronic Post-production 

* multimedia 

S* Beting for Film B Television 

Vancouver 
Film School 

For detailed information call: 

1-800-661-4101 




IKE & TINA TURNER 




Together again at Archive Films and Archive Photos. From politics to rock 'n' roll, the historical images you want are 
a phone call away. More than 9,000 hours of historical stock footage, and 20,000,000 historical photos now available. 

Call or fax for free brochures and a sample reel. 



Archive Films 



Archive Phdtds 



Stock Footage Library 

800/876-5115 

212/620-3955 Fax 212/645-2137 



Shots you won't find 
everywhere else. 

Dept TND, 530 West 25th Street, New York, New York 10001 



Stock Photo Library 

800/888-7717 

212/675-0115 Fax 212/675-0379 



March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 35 



phy, became a means for Knoop to illustrate 
his articles. Shortly after becoming the 
Western editor of the publication — a move 
that brought him to San Francisco — Knoop 
forfeited his seniority, benefits, and bonuses 
in exchange for the publication's 16mm film 
equipment. About that time, he ran into a 
former high school classmate-turned-film- 
maker, Robert Charlton, at a "Human Be- 
In" at Golden Gate Park and began a collab- 
oration with Charlton on a never-completed 
film about the Haight-Ashbury scene. 
(Much of that footage ended up in Mark 
Kitchell's 1990 film Berkeley in the Sixties.) 

"My path to independent film was in part 
a reaction to the constraints of popular jour- 
nalism," Knoop recalls. "I was interested in 
pursuing film as a new language of light and 
motion — a language akin to the dream state, 
that space between storytelling and painting 
and theater." After receiving a few grants for 
some experimental documentary work 
(notable among his early films are Farm, 
1968; Dune, 1974; World's Fastest Hippie, 
1974; and Shadow Master, 1982), Knoop 
began working primarily as a cinematograph- 
er on what could broadly be described as por- 
trait films. Included among these are Les 
Blank's Sworn to the Drum, Terry Zwigoffs 
Louie Bluie, Kim Shelton's Cowboy Poets and 
The Highly Exalted, George Csicsery's Wl\ere 
the Heart Roams and "N" is a Number, and 
Nancy Kelly's Cowgirls. 

"I've been very fortunate to work with 
many of these directors, not only because of 
who they are and how they work, but 
because their films were films that I wouldn't 
have minded making myself. Indeed, I feel 
incredibly lucky. As the cinematographer, I 
get to do more — see more and work more — 
than if these were my own films, without 
having to actually fundraise." Asked about 
the logistics of working with other directors, 
Knoop admits, "Well, it can be difficult at 
times, but I try to keep my own ego at a fair- 
ly low profile — a Zen exercise to be sure!" 

As to future projects, Knoop continues to 
seek out work that draws him to all corners 
of the globe. He also has a book of memoirs, 
Kaleidoscope, due out soon, which he 
describes as "an attempt to retrieve and re- 
examine fragments lost in the process of doc- 
umentary filmmaking." 

"Some people might say that I'm a 'leftist' 
filmmaker, but I'm far less interested in those 
labels than in simply being myself. I'm defi- 
nitely drawn to situations that involve the 
larger questions of 'the game' — matters of 
life and death — as they relate to the lives of 
real people, but I'm not on any sort of cru- 
sade," Knoop says. "I've found that what is 
interesting to me in life and work is the jour- 
ney, the process, and not necessarily the des- 
tination." 

LlSSA GlBBS 

Lissa Gibbs is a Bay Area-based writer, cura- 
tor, and educator. Most recently she directed 
the ninth annual Film Arts Festival. 



lynne sachs 



EXPERIMENTAL FILMMAKER 



y Susan Ger 



e Sachs calls her late 
East!, a "work-i 



l nis particular one 
started as a road trip and flowered into a 
political discourse: It's a halt-hour travel 
diary of her trip to Vietnam — a collection 
of tourism, city life, culture clash, and his- 
toric inquiry that's put together with the 
warmth of a quilt. 

That warmth is no accident. For Sachs, 
film is folk art. Pieces are crafted much as 
they're conceptualized. Her work is 
hands-on everything, from the film itself 
to the machines she reshapes it on. "I was 
welding electronics on this machine one 
hour ago," Sachs notes casually as we set- 
tle in to watch Which Way Is East! on a 
portable six-plate flatbed. She later 
describes the optical printer — the 
machine she uses to double-expose and 
linger over particular frames — like it's a 
family heirloom. "An optical printer is sort 
of from that era of the sewing machine. 
You hear every single stitch." 

Sachs sees Aim as a mutable thing, as 
her phrase "fimvift-ptticess" indicates. 
She's turned twoXif herlilms into installa- 
tions: The Houscwj Science: A Museum of 
False Facts (1991U in which she torches a 
doll house and trip anti-feminist myths 
contained inside it, metamorphosed into a 
three-dii1||nsioljftl exhibitor Artists' Tele- 
vision A^essy^ 1^91* And work-in- 
UrA-^cc \>/,f. ^nBelongiVig turned up as 
in 1^92 at . Buffalo's 



vision A 
process Stt 
an mstal. 
Hallwalls Center 



Like most of Sachs' films, Which Way Is 
East! is personal. In 1992 Sachs slipped her 
Bolex camera into her backpack and went to 
visit her sister in Vietnam. There she shot 40 
minutes of film, much of it a few frames at a 
time out the window of a room where, due to 
illness, she was confined to her bed. When 
she returned to the United States, she put 
together a 30-minute film that combines 
Vietnamese parables, history, and memories 
of the Vietnamese people she met, as well as 
her own childhood memories of the TV war. 




■ 



£9 

\ fit- *•• 



IMtrrl ^^H 



In the film, Sachs recalls visiting Viet- 
nam's Museum of War Atrocities. While 
standing in the American Wing, she looks 
across the street and notices that another 
part of the museum is closed. Her sister 
explains that Vietnam's relations with China 
are good, so there are no visiting hours for 
viewing China's war atrocities. 

To Americans for whom "Vietnam" 
ended in 1975, Which Way Is East! is a 
reminder that Vietnam is a country, not a 
war. The film has a combination of qualities 



36 THE INDEPENDENT March t994 



that make Sachs well admired among Bay 
Area experimental filmmakers: compassion, 
acute observational skills, an understanding 
of history's scope, and a critical ability to dis- 
cern what's missing from the textbooks and 
TV news. 

A 1979 graduate of Brown University, 
Sachs traded her history degree for a Bolex 
camera. She moved to San Francisco in 
1985, got a Masters in Cinema from San 
Francisco State, and earned an MFA from 
the San Francisco Art Institute. Since then, 
she's worked her way from office temp and 
sound technician to filmmaker and lecturer, 
and has exhibited in festivals ranging from 
Atlanta to Oberhausen. 

Which Way Is East? continues a practice 
she began with her 1989 project, Sermons 
and Sacred Pictures. This half-hour film 
depicts the life of Reverend L.O. Taylor, a 
Memphis preacher and filmmaker who, in 
the 1920s, gave witness to the idea that film, 
as a medium of self-representation, could 
affect people. He made and exhibited films 
of his congregations' baptisms and daily lives. 

"[Taylor] preserved something; [he used] 
that relationship of being an artist to bring 
something back to the place," says Sachs, 
who has a similar modus operandi. She 
showed Taylor's films to a congregation in 
San Francisco when she was collecting 
sounds from the church for Sermons and 
Sacred Pictures. The churchgoers recognized 
scenes from Taylor's film: aunts, uncles, 
places. It brought their South back to them. 

Making Which Way Is East?, she made 
another connection — this time across conti- 
nents. Sachs asked a number of Vietnamese 
Americans to help her decipher parables and 
read the stories she gathered from conversa- 
tions in Vietnam for the film's narration. In 
the process, many recognized their own sto- 
ries. Sometimes, Sachs gets a personal invi- 
tation to dinner when the day's work is done. 

Sachs' populism is not a hobby. In her 
daily double-life, she's a teacher. She's con- 
stantly impressed by the visions and skills of 
first-time film- and videomakers in her 
courses at the California College of Arts and 
Crafts in Oakland. She's also pleased to be 
able to watch her favorite films (works by 
former San Franciscan Bruce Conner, for 
one) again and again — and get paid for it. 
But it's in the six months between teaching 
gigs when the real work gets done; when she 
descends into her studio and concentrates, 
uninterrupted, on her film craft. 

"I like the term 'filmmaker,'" she told the 
San Francisco Bay Guardian, "because it's 
like the word homemaker." Sachs has rein- 
vented that word in the same way she rein- 
vents film. 

Susan Gerhard 

Susan Gerhard is a film critic for the SF Bay 

Guardian. 



M 
A 
K 
E 

U 
P 

E 

F 

E 

C 
T 
S 




JASON BARNETT(415)323-9T27 




March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 37 



wmmsm 

'■■■'■::■; ''■/:'/■■:■■:■■:'-.■■■■:■:■ 




>an Francisco or 



Till" 



now. no matter 
ich side you work, 
Leo 1 s is on your side, 
he largest selection 
off tools of the trade 
for audio professionals 
Northern California 



>eps 
•ony 



is here. 



ES 

AL 

SES 

ING 

TALS 

DAT 

; AND 

ESSING 

'STEMS 



928 VAN NESS AVENUE 
I SAN FRANCISCO, 94108 

(415)775-1316 



!®L 



PROFESSIONAL AUDIO, INC. 



5447 TELEGRAPH AVE. 
OAKLAND, 94609 

(510)652-1553 



• ■-... 



nSIMDER 



PROFESSIONAL VIDEO EQUIPMENT 



AND ASSOCIATES, INC. 

BROADCAST, PROFESSIONAL, & DESKTOP 
VIDEO EQUIPMENT 



we offer the highest quality video equipment 



Abekas 

ADC 

Anton/Bauer 

AVID 

Chyron 

Clear-Corn 

FAST Electronic 

Grass Valley 



ImMIX 

JVC 

Kodak 

Panasonic 

Pinnacle 

Pioneer 

Sachtler 

Sharp 



Sigma Electronics 

Silicon Graphics 

Sony 

Tektronix 

3M 

Truevision 

Vinten 

Winsted 



Full Systems Integration - Design - Installation - Service 



Sausalito 
475 Gate Five Road 
Sausalito, CA 94965 

(415)332-7070 
FAX (415)331-1643 



Sacramento Peninsula 

481 1 Chippendale Dr. Suite 708 501 Seaport Court, Suite 101 



Sacramento, CA 95841 

(916)348-7700 

FAX (916)348-6974 



Redwood City, CA 94063 

(415)369-3933 

FAX (415)369-4318 



M 



C/D 



by Linda ibscn 




front memories of racism. A black man 
gazes nervously through a window. Family 
and found photographs construct an auto- 
biography. These haunting images typify 
Cauleen Smith's films on African- 
American lite. 



At her East Ray home in Emeryville, 
California, Smith reminisces with obvious 
pleasure about the camaraderie among 
people ot color during her childhood in 
Sacramento. Born in 1967, the young 
filmmaker smilingly describes herself as a 
"Sesame Street, Electric Company baby," 
adding, "We all watched MTV." Smith 
grew to despise "a medium that does not 
make you do one ounce of work." 

Entering college on a cello scholarship, 
Smith was drawn to theater and film. She 
left the U.S. in 1987 to live and work for 
eight months in London, where conversa- 
tions wirh West Indians and Jamaicans 
convinced her thnt "black Americans 
li:i\-.> .'tine r B:i lot — and very quick- 
sharing that intorn.ia- 
ive to go through the 
experience became 
turn to the U.S. 



have gone tb 
ly. We nee- 
tion, so tin 
>ame." Sh 



In 1988, she enrolled in the film pro- 
gram at San Francisco State University 
and began focusing on black experience-. 
Daily Rains (1989), inspired by Audre 
Lorde, collages women describing their 



38 THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



first encounters with racism during small, 
everyday events. These narratives accom- 
pany shots of children's outdoor games 
and women walking amidst projected 
photographs. Dai/31 Rains, is an expression 
of Smith's philosophy that "even though I 
talk about race, I talk about it as a 
woman." In this first film, she established 
not only a principal theme, but also her 
filmic style, which uses gestural language; 
repetition as a structural element; evoca- 
tive layering of texts and voices; and a 
deliberate hand-crafted look. 

Emphasizing oral narrative, Smith sees 
herself in the griot tradition. She shows obvi- 
ous discomfort with the term "experimen- 
tal," which is more often used to character- 
ize her work. "I'm not trying to challenge 
form just to do it," she insists. "I'm trying to 
use the form to desimplify, reunite, and 
rewrite things." During her school days at 
San Francisco State, she saw the potential of 
the experimental genre in artists like Philip 
Malory Jones and Jean-Luc Godard. 
Breathless "made me feel powerful, as if I 
were in control of what I was seeing — just 
like the maker and I were having a dia- 
logue." Other experimental styles, however, 




make her uncomfortable. "There's the whole 
vanguard of experimental filmmakers who 
were doing amazing things, but... a lot of the 
work was alienating. If I make any of this for 
my people, they're going to hate it," she 
chuckles. "We're already marginalized, so 
why marginalize myself any more than I have 
to? Especially when I'm doing this because I 
want to communicate, not alienate." 

The tension between form and meaning is 
played out against stereotypes of African 
Americans in Chronicles of a Lying Spirit 
(1992). Two voices — a white man and 
Smith — simultaneously narrate two versions 
of the artist's life. One compiles contempo- 
rary stereotypes, while the other resists them 
to find power in art. Our interpretation of 
family and archival photographs (eating 
watermelon, dancing in African dress), over- 
laid with text and manipulated, shifts as the 
stories grow and recede. 

The Message (1993), a study of male sen- 
suality from a woman's perspective, incorpo- 
rates Smith's acute awareness of her power 
as a creator of black images. While the cam- 
era explores a bare-chested man, his ciga- 
rette smoke and the light glancing off a beer 
glass add to the evocative play on the senses. 
The soundtrack interweaves a 
love letter, Smith's directions to 
the man and her concerns about 
how the images will be under- 
stood. Smith, narrating the 
voiceover, wonders, "Is this the 
way I want to gaze on this black 
man?" while focusing our atten- 
tion on the sensual qualities 
through her dynamic editing. 

"John Sayles... has the luxury 
of putting [blacks] in his films... 
in a colorblind manner. You and 
I have to take it very seriously, 
^artCf^ every representation that we do. 
And it can become suffocating," 
she said pensively. "But I don't 
mind that, it becomes part of the 
process." Smith's films have 
screened at such traditional 
venues as AMMI, Sundance, 
and the London Film Festival. 
But the black viewer remains 
her priority and she seeks out 
fe^. community audiences in hip- 
^^^ hop clubs, neighborhood cultur- 
al - al events, and discussion groups. 
After musing about her expe- 
OTprsppnrq riences with alternative exhibi- 
H^^HH tion and self-distribution, Smith 
^L^^B admits that she must look for the 
^F energy needed to sustain this 
"long, hard road." At age 26, 
Cauleen Smith has already 
^^^ become an important contribu- 

fe^ tor to African- American and 
B experimental film. 

Linda Gibson 

Linda Gibson is a video artist, 

curator, arts administrator, and 

educator who writes occasionally 

on media arts and independent 

media in education. 




WORLD 

the Bay Area's film, 
video and computer 
media newsmagazine 



Media Planet 

the filmmaker's gateway r> 
to the superhighway £* 




JO 

X 

*> 

1— 1 

cn 

w 

f> 
w 
w 



TlMlKE JL 



AX 




Studio PASS , a program of 
Harvestworks. Inc. 



596 Broadway, #602 
NYC 10012 212-431-1130 



March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 39 



• Time code generation 

• 3/4"SP, Hi8, VHS dubs 

• Window dubs 

• Character generation 



Video Production 



• 3-D Graphic design/prod. 

• Mac Graphic design 

• Special effects 

• Animation 



3/4"SP-Hi8 A-B Roll Amiga 4000 Toaster Edit System 



Top-quality professional productions for 

Absolutely the Best Prices in Town 



Will work with your budget-Call for consultation 

1200 Broadway, Ste. 2B, NY, NY 10001 212-889-l601^fax^212-889-l602 



Hello, 

I'm Thomas Edison. 

I heartily recommend Hot Shots & Cool Cuts 

for all your contemporary and archival 

stock footaqe needs. They are without a doubt, 

the best. I'd call them right now myself, 

but I'm dead. 



\ 



W* 



ARCHIVAL 
(212)799-9100 



MU I ->r™IV^ II ■> CONTEMPORARY 



f^W^N* W**r ' ^ 



FAX: (212) 799-9258 
The stock footage company whose stock footage doesn't look like stock footage 



soe 




inclined," 
the fatefi 
her da 
the early 



wasn't musically 

ing to explain 

during 

ene of 

you had to be 



musically inclined.... But people were 
becoming skinheads or surf punks, and they 
weren't that politically oriented. So I got 
tired of hanging out with these people who 
just wanted to beat each other over the head 
with their spiked bracelets. I decided to try 
something else, and that's where video came 
in." 

Ten years later, Soe has received fellow- 
ships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the 
Western States Regional Media Arts Coun- 
cil, and Film Arts Foundation, and her 
videos have won prizes at festivals around 
the world. But she's still the proud upholder 
of a high-impact, low-tech aesthetic that she 
says was shaped by punk's do-it-yourself 
ethic and the fact that the art department at 
UCLA, where she began making videos, had 
really bad cameras. "That was good," she 
says. "That got me away from trying to make 
television." 

Instead, Soe turned her camera on herself 
and on the issues that concerned her as a 
young Asian American woman living in Los 
Angeles in the first years of the Reagan 
Administration. She, the punk rockers, and 
the radical, politicized Asian American stu- 
dent groups Soe was involved with were 
"pissed off." She discovered that video's 
attributes (its immediacy, low cost, and low- 
gloss factor) dovetailed perfectly with her 
own artistic goals. "With video, I found I 
could talk about the political and social 
issues that I wanted to talk about anyway 
without having to put it in a narrative struc- 
ture with characters and actors running 
around," she says. "I never learned how to do 
that, and I don't know if I ever will." 

Soe's work treads the line between autobi- 



40 THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



ography and 
witty cultural 
probing. 
Whether it's 
the effects of 
interracial 
dating (Mixed 
Blood, 1992), 
media images 
of Asian wo- 
men (Pictur' 
ing Oriental 
Girls: A (Re) 
Educational 
Videotape, 
1992), or the 
"Model Min- 
ority" stereo- 
type of Asians 
(Black Sheep, 
1990), Soe 
unpreten- 
tiously maps 
the rocky ter- 
rain of identi- 
ty and assimi- 
lation. In All 
Orientals Look 
the Same 

(1986), a de- 
ceptively sim- 
ple one-and- 
a-half-minute 
piece, lays 
waste to a 
laughable 
cliche. Her 

next project is about her mother's family in 
Phoenix, Arizona, a Chinese American fam- 
ily who lives in the desert. The men wear 
bolo ties, her grandmother hand-makes tor- 
tillas, and her mother heats tamales in a rice 
cooker. "I like the idea of this weird cross- 
cultural hybrid that has nothing to do with 
mainstream America," she says. 

Her work often starts as autobiography: 
"When you're an artist, you get to complain 
about your problems," she jokes. But her 
videos have a much broader agenda than 
personal confession. "I'm not going to talk 
about my hangnail or something, unless it 
has some value as a metaphor," she says. 
"But using the autobiographical stuff is real- 
ly a good hook to get people interested. It's 
like [there's] this gossipy gene in people. 
Then you can talk about sexism and racism 
and the isms, and serious deep things with- 
out sounding like a lecture." 

In her own words, Soe is no "theory 
queen," although her tapes make nimble use 
of experimental traditions and are grounded 
in the tenets of postmodernism. Soe also 
writes art criticism for High Performance, 
Afterimage, and other journals. More than 
any allegiance to theory, Soe remains faithful 
to her own gut reactions. "Bugged" by white 
male pursuit of Asian women and, at the 
same time, curious about her own feelings 
toward having a white boyfriend, Soe made 
Mixed Blood and showed it as a multichannel 
gallery installation where viewers could 




input their 
own responses 
to the piece. 
"Last year I 
tried to make 
a decision 
that I would- 
n't talk about 
myself so 

much any- 
more," she 
says. "I want- 
ed to see what 
other people 
thought — 
that's why 
Mixed Blood is 
all other peo- 
ple talking." 

For Soe, 
San Francisco 
is the one 
place where 
she truly feels 
at home. Just 
back from a 
teaching stint 
in Santa Bar- 
bara, she is 
relieved to 
return to the 
Mission Dis- 
trict, a section 
of the city 
where cheap 
Mexican food, 
low-rent art 
spaces, an exciting amalgam of ethnicities, 
and San Francisco's best weather have con- 
spired to create a thriving new bohemia. It is, 
she says, a great place for independents. 
"There's no way you're going to make 
Hollywood movies up here, so nobody tries... 
There's a community that's built up here, for 
whatever reason, and it's really supportive." 
That community spirit is reflected by X 
Factor, a local organization of experimental 
artists dedicated to supporting the work that 
slips past the gaze of mainstream funding 
agencies. "There's like this complete ghet- 
toization of experimental work, as if it's just 
a stepping stone to something else," she says 
vehemently, "And that just really annoys 
me. That's all just because of the tyranny of 
Hollywood." But that doesn't mean Soe 
believes experimental media artists should 
be stuck laboring in a garret. 

"It's like Nirvana says: 'Corporate rock 
still sucks.' But if they're going to give you 
money, you should definitely take it and turn 
it into something good or subversive," she 
says. "There are different ways to bring about 
change in this society, and they're not always 
by standing outside and screaming as loud as 
you can. Sometimes you can get yourself into 
the boardroom and set it on fire." 

Heather Mackey 

Heather Mackey is a contributing editor to SF 

Weekly. 



S 



ANCHOR/ 

NEWS DESK 

SETS 



VIDEO- 
CONFERENCING 



SATELLITE 
MEDIA TOURS 

• 

CORPORATE 

VIDEOS 



DOCUMENTARIES 

BUSINESS 
TELEVISION 



NTV 

is a division of 

NTV 

International 

Corporation 



CONTACT: 

ElyseRabinoivitz 212-489-8390 

NTV STUDIO PRODUCTIONS 

50 ROCKEFELLER PLAZA 

NYC 10020 



VIDEO 
PRODUCTION 



Satellite 
services 




Harmonic 

Ranch 

ESTABLISHED 1984 



AUDIO FOR VIDEO 

• 

DIGITAL AUDIO 

WORKSTATIONS 

• 

AUTOMATED MIXES 

59 FRANKLIN ST. 
NEW YORK, N. Y. 10013 
212-966-3141 



March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 41 



In&Out of 
Production 



By Mitch Albert & Michele Shapiro 



Cruel statistics abound, and, as usual too little 
attnetion is paid to them. In Satya: A Prayer 
for the Enemy (27 min., Hi8-to-16mm), Ellen 
Bruno sheds some much-needed light on the 
continuing tragedy of Tibet. More than one 
million people there have been tortured, exe- 
cuted, or starved to death for demonstrating 
against the Chinese forces that have occupied 
the region since 1950. Tibetan Buddhist nuns 
have taken the lead in this resistance by fear- 
lessly staging demonstrations for indepen- 



non violent principles. In so doing the film pro- 
vides a rare opportunity to hear specific 
instances of religious oppression and human 
rights abuses by China. Satya: A Prayer for the 
Enemy, Film Library, 22-D Hollywood Ave., 
Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ 07423; (800) 343-5540 
(domestic distributor); Ellen Bruno, 163 
Fairmount St., San Francisco, CA 94131; 
(415) 641-4491; fax: 641-9104 (domestic & 
int'l television sales) . 

Are the kids alright? Dayna Goldfine and 



their subjects from move-in day through spring 
finals. Frosh is currently in use on over 200 
campuses. 

Also from the same team, and currently in 
postproduction, is Tim & the Kids. This fea- 
ture-length doc observes the workings of the 
controversial Art and Knowledge Workshop, 
run by artist Tim Rollins in the South Bronx. 
Rollins aims to develop the minds and spirits of 
the kids in his charge through literature-based 
art making. Frosh, California Newsreel 




dence. Countless among them have received 
brutal treatment for shouting slogans; criticiz- 
ing the Chinese state in conversations with for- 
eigners; possessing independence posters; or 
hoisting the Tibetan flag. Yet the nuns strictly 
adhere to a code of nonviolent resistance. Satya 
focuses on the testimonies of these Tibetan 
nuns, seeking to understand the basis of their 



Dan Geller look into the matter in Frosh: Nine 
Months in a Freshman Dorm (93 min., video 
to 16mm). Set in a coed, multicultural dorm at 
Stanford University, this documentary tracks 
the lives of 10 students within a community of 
80 freshmen from widely divergent ethnic, eco- 
nomic, geographic, religious, and philosophical 
backgrounds. The filmmakers lived among 



(non theatrical), 149 Ninth St., San Francisco, 
CA 94103, (415) 621-6196 or Geller/Goldfine 
Productions (theatrical), 1677 11th Ave., San 
Francisco, CA 94122; (415) 661-6723. 

Donald and Shotwell are officers on duty in 
an underground missile silo. Each has orders to 
shoot the other if he behaves "strangely." 
Unsure if they are being tested or if something 



42 



THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



has gone wrong, they watch the consoles and 
contemplate a shooting or a launch. When 
Shotwell introduces a little game to relieve the 
tedium, Donald begins to wonder: "What is 
strangel" Based on a short story by Donald 
Barthelme and produced/directed by brothers 
Rob and Rod Myers, this is game (18 min., 
16mm). 

The Myers brothers are currently in prepro- 
duction for a half-hour film, Out There, a story 
of sisters reunited after a 15-year estrangement. 
game and Out There, Rob and Rod Myers, 
Cine22, 972 Westlynn Way #4, Cupertino, 
CA 95014-5857; (408) 725-1260. 

For Quest Productions and producer/direc- 
tor Bill Jersey, 1992 and 1993 were banner 
years, marked by the national broadcast of 
more than 10 hours of programming. Now, 
with both The Mob: Made in America (240 
min., Beta) a doc for Fox Broadcasting that 
takes viewers inside the world of organized 
crime to unravel the history of the mob in 
America, and First Edition (30 min., Beta), a 
half-hour series for PBS on books and authors 
currently in production, plus a special and two 
more series in development, 1994 promises to 
be an even bigger year. Future projects cur- 
rently in development at Quest include: Hail 
to the Chief: the Making of the American 
Presidency, a four-part series for PBS and 
Power and the Press, a second four-part series 
for PBS that will provide an inside look at the 
reporting and marketing of news. Quest 
Productions, 2600 Tenth St., Berkeley, CA 
94710-2522; (510) 548-0854. 

Angela D. Chou's social commentary on 
Chinese American women, red white blue and 
yellow (13 min., 16mm) will debut this spring 
at various film festivals worldwide. The film 
mixes ethnic and racist recollections with the 
typical conversation one would expect from a 
homogenized American woman. Fragmented 
framing stresses marginalization in a "white" 
society, red white blue and yellow, Angela D. 
Chou (415) 252-8762. 

Les Blank has been keeping busy. His pro- 
duction company, Les Blank's Flower Films, 
has a number of projects in the works, includ- 
ing Green Warriors (16mm), which explores 
Earth First! and other groups who take radical 
measures to save the planet; Sworn to the 
Drum (16mm), a documentary "three-quarters 
finished" on Afro-Cuban conga drummer 
Francisco Aguabella; and The Maestro: King 
of the Cowboy Artists (16mm), a portrait of 
one California artist who follows the principle 
of living his art rather than selling it. Both 
Green Warriors and The Maestro are in progress 
pending completion funding. Contact Les 
Blank's Flower Films, 10341 San Pablo Ave., El 
Cerrito, CA 94530; (510) 525-0942. 

Debra Chasnoff is currently involved in pro- 
jects large and small. She has the rights to the 
Karen Thompson/Sharon Kowalski story — the 
landmark gay and disability rights case — and is 
developing it into a dramatic feature with 
recent Emmy winner Jane Anderson. She is 
also producing and directing a multi-part 
media project on preventing homophobia 
among elementary school-aged children. The 
project begins with a documentary about how 
children learn homophobia and examines how 
schools can intervene in that process. It also 
includes three videos for young children about 
family diversity, name-calling, and dispelling 




Images (or Great Ideas 



«•] 



Production ready images 

available in all formats and all 

subjects. Ask us about our 

CD-ROM. Free Catalog. 

LA: tel 1-800-IMAGERY or 818/508-1444 

fax 818/508-1293 
NY: tel 212/686-4900 fax 212/686-4998 

Energy Productions, l 2700 Ventura Blvd., 4th Foor, Studio City, California 9 1 604 



HI-8 MUST BE TREATED AS CAMERA NEGATIVE 

New York's Most Complete and affordable HI-8 Professionals 

HI- 8 or 3/4" SP to BETA SP or 3/4" SP frame accurate editing 

ON-LINE HI-8 FOR BROADCAST 
TO BETACAM SP (BVW 75) 

TIME CODE INSERTION 

DUBBING TO BETA SP With the Best Drop-out 

Compensation available 

DUBBING TO 3/4"SP WITH TC WINDOW 

COMPLETE PRO HI-8 PRODUCTION PACKAGES 

NEW SONY EVW- 300 with ARRI Fresnel lighting kit 
SONY V 5000 - Portable DAT 

NEW EXPANDED LOCATION WITH 3/4"SP 
OFF- LINE FACILITY 

THANK YOU TO OUR CLIENTS: J.Walter Thompson, Business week, 
^ The Lintas Agency, MTV, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox 5, Time Life, 

! ^^ Antenne 2, RAI, and Independent people like you! 



ARC PICTURES INC. 

.666 BROADWAY SUITE 405, NEW YORK. N.Y. 1 0012 
TEL. (212) 982 1101 FAX (212) 982 1168 



EQUIPMENT RENTAL 



^= Sony CCD VX3 Hi-8 Camcorders 

other film/video cameras, tripods, lighting 
and audio equipment also available 

Subsidized rates for qualifying projects 



FILM/VIDEO ARTS 



817 Broadway at 12th Street 
New York City 10003 
212/673-9361 



A nonprofit media arts center 



March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 43 




OFF-LINE 
AVID 4000 
SONY 3/4" 
DUPLICATION 

G6NIX 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, 10012 
FAX 212 941 5759 



Great npaisi 



Ule independents naue joined 
together to otfer other 
independents the eouiptment 
and seruices you need, 
our newly renouated 
suite has: 





• 16 MM 
• 3/4" to 3/4" 
• Betacam to Betacam 
• AVIDs 



Complete 
Editing Facilities 

OFFLIBETO j 

On liu 



Top Editors 



• Betacam SP to Betacam SP 

A/B Roll, Chyron, Digital Effects 



• Start on our 3/4" decks • Fine cut on our 
AVIDs • On line on our Beta SP to Beta SP. 



I saue lime and moneyi 



] 



stereotypes. The yet-untitled project is now in 
preproduction. Debra Chasnoff, 2017 Mission 
St., 2nd fl., San Francisco, CA 94110; (415) 
252-1344. 

Barbara Hammer's Tender Buttons 
(16mm), a feature on lesbian autobiography 
that uses personal archive footage, educational 
documentaries, dramatic vignettes, and com- 
puter movies, is scheduled for completion in 
winter 1994. Tender Buttons, Barbara Hammer, 
Making Her Visible Prods, 872 Sanchez St., 
San Francisco, CA 94114; (415) 641-7595 
(ph./fax). 



10217 





suite 2410 consortium 330 uj. 42nd st 

24-hour building-great uieuis! Tel: (212) 947-1417 



In and Out of Africa investigates the Western relationships 
to African art and African art merchants. Trader Gabai 
Baare (pictured) worked with documentarians llisa 
Barbash and Lucien Taylor on the video. 

Courtesy videomakers 

A would-be expatriate journeys to northern 
Spain and discovers the impossibility of leaving 
America behind. Filmmaker Jacob Bricca's 
meditation on tourism, mass culture, and 
authenticity, Escape from America (34 min., 
3/4" video), takes a restless look at the fright- 
ening aspects of globalized culture. The film 
was completed last summer. Escape From 
America, Jacob Bricca, GBH Pictures, 2328 
Santa Catalina, Palo Alto, CA 94303; (415) 
858-1155. 

Although In and Out of Africa (59 min., 
3/4" video) begins conventionally enough — 
with trader Gabai Baare negotiating for art 
objects in Africa — it quickly takes an unex- 
pected turn. Rather than focusing on African 
art, it demonstrates how a given object, 
depending on its cultural context, can mean 
different things to various individuals. 
Filmmakers llisa Barbash and Lucien Taylor 
show that Western desires to own African art 
are often predicated by colonialist nostalgia, 
and when the same colonialism is depicted by 
Africans in their art, it is often denigrated by 
Western "experts" as not being sufficiently 
"profound." The video is distributed by UC 
Media Extension. 

Taylor and Barbash are now in Martinique 
working on their next documentaries, one on 
the rum industry and another on the stay of 
Albert Dreyfus in French Guiana. In and Out of 
Africa, llisa Barbash and Lucien Taylor 
(through April 30, 1994), chez Price, Anse 
Chaudiere, Anses d'Artlet 97217, Martinique, 
French Antilles; (596) 68 67 67 (ph./fax). 

The Academy Award-winning team of Rob 
Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman is back in produc- 
tion with The Celluloid Closet (35mm), a 



44 THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



film based upon the highly acclaimed book by 
film historian and AIDS activist Vito Russo. 
The film will examine the representation of 
gays and lesbians in films throughout motion 
picture history. Funds for the project have been 
provided by Channel Four (UK), Germany's 
and France's ZDF-Arte, and PBS, among 
numerous other sources. The Celluloid Closet, 
Telling Pictures, 347 Dolores St., San 
Francisco, CA 94110; (415) 864-6714; fax: 
864-4364. 

The Aroma of Enchantment (55 min.; 
video) , a video essay by Chip Lord, investigates 
the idea of America for various Japanese peo- 
ple. Lord weaves historical stories about 
General Douglas MacArthur and his own feel- 
ings of alienation in the midst of Japanese cul- 
ture with stories told by collectors or practi- 
tioners of Americanization. Each person inter- 
viewed connects his or her concept of America 
to the postwar occupation period. Produced, 
directed, and edited by Chip Lord from footage 
shot during a Creative Artist's Fellowship in 
Japan during 1991. The video will be screened 
at the Japan Society in New York on March 25. 
The Aroma of Enchantment, Video Data Bank, 
37 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL 60603; (312) 
345-3550. 

Subtitled "A Love Story for the 90s," Lynn 
Hershman's Virtual Love (73 min., 16mm, 
Beta, VHS) is a cyberspatial tale of obsessions 
and illusions. Valerie, a shy archivist in a virtu- 
al reality tech lab, transmits love notes accom- 
panied by images to the computer screen of 
Barry, a researcher working for the same com- 
pany. When he demands a real-life encounter, 
Valerie panics, resulting in "virtual death." The 
narrative is sectioned in five, each introduced 
by real-life experts in media and virtual reality. 
Hershman, a film and video artist since 1980, 
wrote, directed, and edited. Virtual Love, Lynn 
Hershman (415) 567-6180 (ph./fax). 

Jon Moritsugu is in postproduction on the 
feature Mod Fuck Explosion (70 min., 
16mm), a no-budget film shot in San Francisco 
last year. Moritsugu also completed Terminal 
USA (57 mins., 16mm) for ITVS' TV Families 
series. It has been screened at the Toronto and 
Rotterdam fests and will be exhibited soon at 
the Pompidou Center in Paris. Mod Fuck 
Explosion, Jon Moritsugu, 495 14th Ave #2, 
San Francisco, CA 94118; (415) 386-0731. 

Directed and produced by AIVF member 
Lisanne Skyler, Black Owned (60 min., 
16mm) focuses on the ABC Loan Company, a 
South Central Los Angeles pawn shop/cheque- 
casher. The recently completed documentary 
uses the pawn shop as a metaphor both for eco- 
nomic and spiritual survival. With the objec- 
tive of breaking down media-reinforced stereo- 
types, Black Owned weaves footage of the pawn 
shop together with portraits of people caught 
up in the monthly cycle of cashing their welfare 
and payroll cheques and pawning items to tide 
them over until the next cheque. Black Owned, 
Lisanne Skyler (415) 474-2651. 

Jonathan Goldin has completed a documen- 
tary titled Wandering Jews, Dreams of 
California and Zion (60 min., Beta). Goldin 
describes the project as "a personal as well as 
artistic project, born of my own quest and tur- 
moil." His main goal in travelling to Israel six 
times was to find former American Jews, pri- 
marily those born after the Holocaust, who had 
made the transformation from American to 




From Lisanne Skyler's Black Owned. 

Courtesy filmmaker 

Israeli. Those interviewed include Yossi Klein 
Haveli, a reporter at the Jerusalem Report, and 
Ze'ev Chafetz, former press spokesman for 
Menachem Begin. Wandering Jews, Dreams of 
California and Zion, American Chutzpa 
Productions, Saul Zaentz Fantasy Film Bldg., 
2600 Tenth St., Berkeley, CA 94710; (510) 
883-9060; fax: 486-2115. 

Red Sky Films begins principal photography 
this month on its first feature film, Farmer & 
Chase. Written & directed by Michael 
Seitzman, the film, billed as a "thinking per- 
son's action movie," will feature Bay area musi- 
cians Bob Weir, the Jerry Garcia Band, and 
Clarence Clemons. Bob Humphreys serves as 
exec, producer, while Michael Maley is cine- 
matographer 6k Tony Saunders composed the 
score. Farmer & Chase, Michelle Goodman, 
Red Sky Films, 50 Green St., San Francisco, 
CA 94111; (415) 421-7332; fax: 0927. 

Crimes of Compassion and Revolutionary 
Acts is the second doc in a three-part series 
about abortion. Director/coproducer Dorothy 
Fadiman and coproducer and editor Daniel 
Meyers began the series with the Oscar-nomi- 
nated When Abortion Was Illegal: Untold Stories. 
The series will conclude with Unsafe Abortion: 
A Global Perspective, a look at challenges to 
reproductive rights and the human toll of 
unsafe abortion throughout the world. Crimes, 
to be released this spring, tells stories of people 
who risked arrest to provide safe illegal ser- 
vices, as well as others who fought to change 
restrictive abortion laws in the U.S. before Roe 
v. Wade made abortion legal throughout the 
country. The documentary, which combines 
interviews and rare archival footage, is being 
produced in association with PBS station 
KTEH-TV, San Jose, and is sponsored by Film 
Arts Foundation. Crimes of Compassion & 
Revolutionary Acts, Concentric Media, 1070 
Colby Ave.; Menlo Park, CA 94025; (415) 
321-1533; fax: (415) 321-5633. 

Family Cirkus (10 min., Beta), by Jeffrey 
and Stephane Forte-Orgill, combines experi- 
mental, narrative, and documentary styles. The 
video examines domestic violence through per- 
sonal oral narratives and social factors includ- 
ing sexism, homophobia, and media represen- 
tations of violence. The filmmakers, who 
received a grant from Film Arts Foundation, 
hope to distribute the video as a counselling 
tool for mens' and womens' groups dealing with 
violence. Family Cirkus, Jeffrey and Stephane 
Forte-Orgill (415) 552-8399. 

Since profiled in the May 1993 issue of The 
Independent, Gary Rhine's Kifaru Productions 
has encountered the best and worst of times. 
Wiping the Tears of Seven Generations (60 



CODE 16 

16 MM EDGE NUMBERING 

^ Codes Every 16 Frames 

^ Prints on 4// 16 MM Stock 
Including Polyester 

™ Clearest, Easiest to Read 
Numerals Anywhere 

Lowest Prices Anywhere 

Price per ft $.0125 

1000 ft $12.50 

(212)496-1118 



Same day service - 
Weekends & rush hours possible 



262 W. 91 st St. 
NY, NY 10024 

Monday ■ Friday 10-5 



Synchronicity 
Sound 

Digital Audio Workstation with 
Video & Film Lock up 

Full Sound Track Preparation & 
Editing 

Dialogue, Effects, Music Editing 
& Sound Design 

Digital Production Recording 

Multi-Format Mixing Facility 

Interformat Sound Transfers 

Overnite T.C. Stripes & Window Dubs 

AIVF Member & Student Discount 

611 Broadway, Cable Bldg., Suite 907 H 
New York, NY 10012 

(212) 254-6694 
Fax: (212) 254-5086 



March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 45 



COMPLETE BETACAM-SP ON-LINE $99/HR 



► Betacam-SP A/B Roll w/EDL Management 

► INTERFORMAT with 3/4"SP / Hi-8 / S-VHS / VHS 

► Digital EFX Switcher / Character Generator 

► Slow-Motion / DMC 

► Color Correction / Wavefrom Monitor 

► Stereo Mixer / DAT, CD, or Cass. Source 

► Experienced Editors 

► SOHO Location / Friendly Staff 

OFF-UNE 3/4", S-VHS, VHS w/TBC & On-Line Discount 
TRANSFERS & WINDOW DUBS w/ TC - All Formats 
DUPLICATION -All Formats 



Ca mera Packa ges 

BETA-SP, Hi-8, S-VHS, 16MM 

► Lights / Mies / Monitor / Van 

► Cameraman & Crew Avail. 

► Discount on Post 

DIGITAL AUDIO WORKSTATIONS 

► PRO TOOLS & SONIC SOLUTIONS 
Audio (or Film/Video Projects 
- Sound Editor w/ Feat. Credit 



* ASK FOR COMPLETE PACKAGE RATE * 



SOLAR PRODUCTIONS 212 925 mo 



U WAY S I b OU(; NY NY 1 00 1 2 



GLC 



Productions 

1 1 WEEHAWKEN STREET 
GREENWICH VILLAGE, NY 1 OO 1 4 
TELEPHONE 212-691-1038 
FAX 212-691-6864 



Film/Video 



AVID™ SUITES 




RENTALS OR CREATIVE SERVICES 

■ NON-LINEAR OFF-LINE DIGITAL EDITING 

■ LONG OR SHORT FORMATS 

■ INSTANT ACCESS TO HOURS OF FOOTAGE 



Audio 



3 DIGITAL AUDIO SUITES / 24 TRACK ANALOG 



RENTALS OR CREATIVE SERVICES 

■ sound design / sound editing / mixing 

■ adr / sfx / foley 

■ scoring / arranging 

■ live recording 

call 2 1 2-691 -1 038 

FOR BROCHURE / INFORMATION 



GLC FOR POST-PRODUCTION SOLUTIONS 



We Specialize in Audio/Video Equipment 




Fast, Easy Qualification To Apply or Request 

No Financial Statements Necessary Additional Information Call 
True Lease or Finance Lease Option Jeff Wetter Today. 

SI FLEX LEA SE. Inc. 

■■I COMMERCIAL EQUIPMENT FINANCING 

Loans By Phone: (800) 699-FLEX 

^ Faxr (2L4) 578-0 9 44 




min., 3/4" video to 16mm) has aired on the 
Disney Channel. But The Peyote Road (59 
min., 3/4" video to 16mm), which received the 
1993 Best Documentary award at the Great 
Plains Film Festival, has been turned down by 
TV and cable broadcasters, including PBS. 
Rhine believes the negative response is due to 
the controversial nature of the program, which 
concerns religious freedom. Kifaru is also in 
postproduction on The Red Road to Sobriety 
(60 min., 3/4" video to 16mm), which docu- 
ments the flourishing movement across Indian 
country that incorporates indigenous tradition- 
al ceremonies into the alcohol recovery pro- 
cess. Kifaru Productions, 1550 California St., 
ste. 275, San Francisco, CA 94109; (415) 673- 
5004; fax: 381-6246. 

Production began in November 1993 on 
Not Once But Twice (90 min., 16mm), a sus- 
penseful drama scripted and directed by Craig 
Garcia and Dale Hall, Jr. (both of whom are 
under 30 years of age) . The story centers on a 
young San Francisco law student who becomes 
entangled in an underworld of crime and 
deception. Not Once But Twice, Christopher 
M. Quigley, executive producer, 1075 Old 
County Road, Belmont, CA 94002; (415) 595- 
4922. 

In the feature, Naked Beneath the Water 
(80 min., VHS), murder passes for entertain- 
ment when a reality-based series airs home 
videos of serial killers. A young man sees his 
missing brother sliced and diced one night and 
goes to the scene of the crime to look for clues. 
Writer and director Sean Cain has been fasci- 
nated with the favorable response to shows 
including Cops and I Witness Video. By making 
the film, he wanted to explore the relationship 
between the viewer and the sensationalized 
victim. Production was completed in February 
1993 and will air on the channel 53 program 
Tolerance every other Sat. at 3 p.m. Naked 
Beneath the Water, Sean Cain, 1852 Elkwood 
Dr., Concord, CA 94154- 

"The title," says Steven Okazaki of his new 
film, Rising Sons, "is a response to Philip 
Kaufman's Rising Sun, which I found extremely 
offensive. It is a poisonous insult to all Asian 
Americans." Okazaki, an Academy Award- 
winning independent producer, hopes to 
"puncture the model minority myth" with this 
film, currently in postproduction. It features six 
actors performing dramatic pieces drawn from 
real-life interviews with Asian Americans, with 
special emphasis on the impact of racism in 
their lives. 

On the lighter side, Okazaki has also com- 
pleted a romantic comedy, The Lisa Theory, 
about three men dealing with the demise of 
their recent relationships. Rising Sons and The 
Lisa Theory, Farallon Films, 548 Fifth St., San 
Francisco, CA 94107; (415) 495-3934; fax: 
777-5633. 

Art piece. Documentary. Experimental. 
Music video. All these terms describe Rodrigo 
Betancur's Autodescubrimiento: 1492-1992 
(70 min.; video). The video opens with footage 
of the Dineh people's homeland in Big Moun- 
tain, Arizona. The first half of the video tells 
the story of the Americas over the past 500 
years through the voices of Isabel Allende, 
Noam Chomsky, and others. Also featured: a 
reenactment of Columbus' landing at Aquatic 
Park. Autodescubrimiento, New Breed Pro- 
ductions, 2973 24th St., San Francisco, CA 
94110; (415)824-6112. 



46 THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



hestivals 



By Kathryn Bowser 



THIS MONTH'S FESTIVALS HAVE BEN COM- 
PILED BY KATHRYN BOWSER, DIRECTOR OF 
THE FIVF FESTIVAL BUREAU. LISTINGS DO 
NOT CONSTITUTE AN ENDORSEMENT. SINCE 
SOME DETAILS CHANGE FASTER THAN WE DO, 
WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU CONTACT THE 
FESTIVAL FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
BEFORE SENDING PRINTS OR TAPES. 



Domestic 

BRAZEN IMAGES: WOMEN IN FILM, July 22- 
25, TX. Formerly Third Wave International 
Women's Film & Video Festival, this fest, pre- 
sented by Women's Media Project, will contin- 
ue to offer mix of best & most recent films & 
videos by women from throughout world. 
Name change reflects "programming that chal- 
lenges concepts of what it means to be 
woman... Selected works speak boldly 6k hon- 
estly for themselves." 2 sections: invitational 
event, for which fest will solicit & preview 
works during several mos. & Regional 
Showcase, juried competition open to women 
directors from TX & surrounding states 
(Deadline: May 30). Fest held at Dobie 
Theatre in Austin. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 
3/4". Contact: Claudia Sperber, fest dir., or 
Jana Birchum, regional showcase coordinator, 
Brazen Images, c/o Women's Media Project, 
Box 49432, Austin, TX 78765; (512) 473- 
2766; fax: 472-1043. 

EARTHPEACE INTERNATIONAL FILM FES- 
TIVAL, Nov. 3-10, VT. Fest is competitive 
forum for films & videos that address issues of 
global concern in cats of: Justice & Human 
Rights; Issues of War 6k Peace; Environment 
(Re-emerging Nationalism, Racism, Children, 
Business 6k Environment). Fest also accepts 
out-of-competition entries of PSAs & music 
videos. In 1993, 95 films/videos from 17 coun- 
tries were presented, w/ approximately 45 film- 
makers in attendance; academic courses are 
offered at several local colleges in conjunction 
w/ fest. Since 1990, EarthPeace has had rela- 
tionship w/ Hiroshima Int'l Film Fest. Awards: 
Best of Fest, Best of Cat (Environment, War & 
Peace, Justice 6k Human Rights); City of 
Burlington; People's Choice; Positive Solutions 
to Global Problems; Heart of Fest (for film that 
exemplifies interconnectedness between fest 
themes); InterNetwork Foundation (given by 
foundation from Netherlands to film that best 
deals w/ issues of world's children at risk). 
Winning films considered for nat'l 6k int'l tour- 
ing program, which incl. Hiroshima & 
Ambiente-Incontri Int'l Film Fest on Nature & 
Environment in Sacile, Italy. Prods must have 



been completed after Jan. 1, 1993 & not have 
received any nat'l US network/cable TV or 
theatrical distribution prior to fest. Entry fees: 
$35, up to 19 mins; $45, 20-39 mins; $55, 40- 
59 mins; $l/min., over 90 min. Formats: 
35mm, 16mm, 8mm, Hi8, 3/4", 1/2", Beta. 
Deadline: Apr. 1. Contact: EarthPeace Int'l 
Film Fest, c/o Burlington City Arts, City Hall, 
Burlington, VT 05401; (802) 660-2600; fax: 
658-3311. 

FLORIDA FILM FESTIVAL, May 28-June 6, 
FL. Invitational expo of film, held at Enzian 
Theatre, focuses on film as art. Showcases 20 
artists & invites int'l entries in animation 
(experimental, computer, traditional), doc, 
avant-garde & experimental cats. Shorts pro- 
grammed w/ features. Incl. awards, galas, semi- 
nars, showcases. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, video 
(computer animation only); preview on 1/2". 
Deadline: Apr. 1. Contact: Mark Mullen, 
Florida Film Fest, Enzian Theatre, 1300 S. 
Orlando Ave., Maitland, FL 32751; (407) 629- 
188; fax: 6870. 

LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL GAY & 
LESBIAN FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL, July 7- 
17, CA. Presented by Gay 6k Lesbian Media 
Coalition, fest programs film & videos by 6k/or 
about lesbians, gays, bisexuals 6k transgenders. 
Features, shorts, docs, experimental 6k animat- 
ed works accepted. Entry fees: $20, features 
over 60 min.; $15, 30-60 min.; $10, under 30 
min. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2"; pre- 
view on 1/2". Deadline: Apr. 1. Contact: 
GLMC, 8228 Sunset Blvd., ste. 308, W. Holly- 
wood, CA 90046; (213) 650-5133; fax: 2226. 

NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL MEDIA MAR- 
KET, May 18-20, CA. 8th yr of leading int'l 
market for nontheatrical 6k educational film, 
video 6k multimedia programs. Market brings 
together producers, developers, distributors, 
publishers 6k broadcasters. Distributors, pub- 
lishers 6k broadcasters sell to educational, insti- 
tutional, broadcast 6k consumer markets world- 
wide. Films, videos, interactive media 6k works- 
in-progress accepted. Market will take place at 
Oakland Convention Center as part of 
National Educational Film 6k Video Festival. 
Entry fees: $60 per entry; $30 for prods already 
entered in NEFVF competition. Deadline: 
Apr. 8 (late submissions accepted until Apr. 29 
w/ $20 late fee.) Contact: Kate Sphor, media 
market director, National Educational Media 
Market, 655 Thirteenth St., Oakland, CA 
94612-1220; (510) 465-6885; fax: 2835. 

ONION CITY EXPERIMENTAL FILM FESTI- 
VAL, May, IL. Sponsored by Experimental Film 
Coalition, fest is "committed to excellence in 
exhibition of all vital forms of experimental 
film." Also provides info 6k access for the com- 
munity 6k general public. Entries must have 
been completed after Mar. 1, 1992. All genres 
of experimental film accepted. Entry fees: $20 
members/students; $25 nonmembers. Formats: 
16mm, S-8; preview on original, 3/4", 1/2" 
(membership drive special: $30 entry 6k mem- 
bership). Deadline: Apr. 11. Contact: Johnny 
White, OCFF dir., 1467 S. Michigan Ave., 3rd 
fl., Chicago, IL 60605; (312) 986-1823. 

SINKING CREEK FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL, 

Nov. 8-13, TN. In 1984, Sinking Creek, oldest 



Southern film fest, will celebrate 25th anniver- 
sary. 3-person jury awards $8,000-$10,000 in 
prizes. Cats: doc, experimental, animation, dra- 
matic. Fest offers special presentations by 
important mediamakers 6k seminars in film 
analysis. Program incl. area premieres, chil- 
dren's matinees 6k midnight screenings. Held 
on Vanderbilt Univ. campus, which has 350- 
seat cinema, meeting rooms, lounges 6k art 
gallery. Entry fees: $25-60, depending upon 
length. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4"; pre- 
screening on 1/2". Deadline: Apr. 30. Contact: 
Meryl Truett, exec, dir., Sinking Creek 
Film/Video Fest, 402 Sarratt Student Center, 
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37240; 
(615) 322-4234; fax: 343-8081. 

TOURING INTERNATIONAL MUSIC VIDEO 
FESTIVAL, Summer, IL. This exhibition is 
devoted to "art of music video." Entries must 
have been completed after Jan. 1, 1993. Cash 
awards. Entry fee: $20. Deadline: May 1. 
Contact: Carolyn Faber, Chicago Filmmakers, 
1543 W. Division St., Chicago, IL 60622; 
(312) 384-5533. 

Foreign 

ICRONOS INTERNATIONAL WEEK OF 
ARCHAEOLOGICAL FILM, October, France. 
Estab. in 1988, biennial fest is centerpiece of 
archaeology-awareness program 6k currently 
largest regular European fest of its kind. 60-75 
recent prods incl. in program. Fest also offers 
informal venue where filmmakers 6k scientific 
advisors can meet w/ colleagues. Most of fest 
held in Bordeaux; previous fests have had 
attendance up to 8,000. Theme is Greece, but 
selections about other civilizations 6k topics 
such as historic preservation, experimental 
archaeology 6k advanced scientific 6k techno- 
logical appls in field also incl. 6 non-monetary 
awards determined by int'l jury; 7th public 
prize initiated in 1992. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 
3/4"; preview on cassette. Contact: Phillipe 
Dorthe, c/o AFIFA, 5 rue Pascal-Lafargue, 
33300 Bordeaux, France: tel: 011 33 56 39 41 
96; fax: 011 33 56 39 29 66. 

LED7ZIG INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY 
FILM FESTIVAL, Nov. 15-20, Germany. 37th 
edition of annual all-doc fest accepts short 6k 
features 6k videos. Fest seeks to promote int'l 
doc 6k animated films 6k to provide opportuni- 
ty for filmmakers, producers, distributors, 
media experts 6k filmgoers to meet. Program 
consists of int'l competition, special programs, 
video workshops 6k retro. Competition incl. 
separate cats for docs of all genres. Cash prizes 
awarded for features 6k prods under 45 min. 
Prods awarded prizes at int'l fests after June 1, 
1993 are eligible. The Field in NY is accepting 
preview tapes (VHS). Deadline: May 15. 
Submit tapes w/ brief synopsis (incl. bio, prod, 
credits, date 6k place of first screening 6k 
awards) 6k SASE for return of materials to: 
Leipzig Documentary Film Fest, c/o The Field, 
161 6th Ave., 14th fl., NY, NY 10013. The 
Field cannot answer questions or provide addi- 
tional info. For info, contact: Jurgen Bruning in 
Berlin; tel: 011 49 30 782 8702; fax: 011 49 30 
782-9740. 



March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 47 





Video Viewing 
1/2 & 3/4 Video Editing 
Video Cassette Duplication 
Film to Tape Transfers 
Slides to Tape Transfers 
16mm Projector Rental 
S-8 Processing 



Machine Cleaned, Optically Tested, & 

GUARANTEED FOR MASTERING 

3/4' Used Video Cassettes 

NEW, MAJOR BRAND VIDEO CASSETTES 
AT DISCOUNT PRICES 



RAFIK 



TOCK, VIDEO TAPE, AUDIO TAPE. LEADER & SUPPLIES 



DAVID ROYLE 
PRODUCTIONS 

OFF-LINE 
EDITING 

VHS, 3/4" & AVID 



Ijrf* 



GREAT PRICES 



9 4 7-8433 

330 W. 42nd St. 
NY.,N.Y. 10036 



Betacam SP Component On-Line Editing 

$165/hr 



Includes Editor and Character Generator 

Features: Sony BVE-910 edit controller, GVG-100CV Switcher, 
Slo-Motion, Color Corrector, Otari %", CD, Audio Cassette 



ALSO AVAILABLE 

Digital Effects: Component ADO-1 00 

With 3-D, Digimatte and Image innovator 

%" SP A/B Roll On-Line Editing 

HI-8 to Betacam SP Transfers 

With TBC (Dub out to Component Betacam) 
%" Off-Line Editing with List Management 



on frack 



ll/IDEO 



(212)645-2040 



LOCARNO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTI- 
VAL, August, Switzerland. Now in 47th yr, fest 
has been described as "one of world's top half- 
dozen fests" w/ reputation for innovative pro- 
gramming & support of alternative visions from 
ind. directors. Unique open-air screenings in 
Piazza Grande, which holds 7,000. Special sec- 
tions & out-of-competition screenings. Com- 
petition accepts 1st, 2nd & 3rd fiction features, 
art films, low-budget films, inds &. cinema d'au- 
teur. Must be over 60 min. European premieres 
only, completed w/in previous yr. Educational, 
advertising & scientific films ineligible. Prizes: 
Golden Leopard (Grand Prix) & City of 
Locarno Grand Prize (30,000SF); Silver Leo- 
pard (Grand Prix de Jury) & 2nd Prize of City 
of Locarno (15,000SF); Bronze Leopard & 3rd 
Prize of City of Locarno (5000SF). Films should 
be subtitled in French. Fest provides 5-day hos- 
pitality to director plus 1 rep. of films in com- 
petition. More than 100 buyers chosen from 
biggest US, European & Japanese distributors 
&. TV. Format: 35mm, 16mm. Deadline: May 
1. Contact: Marco Muller, director, Locarno 
Int'l Film Fest, Via della Posta 6, CH-6600, 
Locarno, Switzerland. 



PROFESSIONAL DISCOUNTS 

Following is a listing of companies that offer dis- 
counts to AIVF members. Call for details: (212) 
473-3400. 

Best Shot Video, 1 136 East 55th St. New York, NY 
10022; (212) 319-5970. Contact: Adam Shanker 

Bill Creston, 727 Ave. of the Americas, NY. NY 
10010; (212) 924-4893. Contact: Barbara 
Rosenthal 

Camera Mart, 456 West 55th St. New York, NY 
10019; (212) 757-6977. Contact: Shimon Ben-Dor 

Cutloose Editorial, 30A West 94th St. New York, 
NY 10025; (212) 678-2560. Contact: Bruce 
Follmer 

L. Mathew Miller Associates. LTD., 48 West 21st 
St. New York, NY 10010; 1-800-221-9328 or 
(212) 741-8011. Contact: Steve Cohen 

Mill Valley Film Group, 397 Miller Avenue, Ste 2, 
Mill Valley, CA 94941: (415) 381-9309. Contact: 
John Antonelli 

PrimaLux Video, 30 West 26th St. New York, NY 
10010; (212) 206-1402. Contact: Matt Clarke 

Rafik, 814 Broadway New York, NY 10003; (212) 
475-9110. Contact: Mr. Rafik 

Studio Film & Tape, 630 Ninth Ave, New York, 
NY 10036; (212) 977-9330. Contact: Bill Eiseman 
or: 6674 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, CA 
90038; 1-800-444-9330. Contact: Carol Dean 

STS, 316 F. Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002; 
1-800-426-9083. Contact: Patrick Skeham 

Technicolor Inc., East Coast Division, 321 W. 44th 
St. NY, NY 10036; (212) 582-7310. Contact: Ray 
Chung 

Video Arts Systems and Technology, Box 433 
Manasquan, NJ 08736; (201) 223-5999. Contact: 
Nicholas G. Kuntz 



18 THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



Classifieds 



each entry in the classifieds column has a 250- 
character limit & costs $25 per issue. ads 
exceeding this length will be edited. payment 
must be made at the time of submission. anyone 
wishing to run a classified more than once 
must pay for each insertion & indicate the 
number of insertions on the submitted copy, 
each classified must be typed, double-spaced 
& worded exactly as it should appear, 
deadlines are the 1st of each month, two 
months prior to the cover date (e.g. april 1 
for the june issue). make check or money 
order— no cash, please— payable to fivf, 625 
broadway, 9th fl, ny, ny 10012. 

Buy • Rent • Sell 

AUDIO GEAR: Brand new Sennheiser ME-88 
shotgun mike w/ K3U power supply & wind- 
screen $400. Almost new Comprehensive 
portable mike mixer $250. Both excellent for 
professional/industrial video field prod. Dan 
(212) 477-9169. 

ECLAIR NPR FOR SALE. Mint condition. 
Incl.12-120 Angenieux zoom lens, magazine, 
case, batt. belt. Asking $5,500. Call (212) 673- 
8529. 

FOR SALE: SR pkg w/ 3 mags, Zeiss 10100, 
Zeiss 8mm, 300mm Kilfit, Kilfit 400/600mm 
combi, Ang. 12-120 w/ Chroizel, J-4, 5 on-brd. 
batts, all recelled, Sachtler Studio II w/ stan- 
dards, babies, cases, bridge plate $27,000. 
Choice pkg. (614) 268-4690. 

OXBERRY 35MM & 16MM RENTALS in 

Rochester, NY, animation studio. Low com- 
mercial rates for ind. film projects. Fred 
Armstrong or Skip Battaglia (716) 244-6550. 

TOSHIBA TSC-200 3CCD Hi-8 camcorder for 
sale. 26-pin output for Betacam deck. Canon 
13x servo lens (interchangable). Pix superior to 
Sony EVO 300. Used only 70 hrs. $5,100 incl. 
hard case, 4 long-life batts & conditioning 
charger. Dirk (212) 633-8410. 

TRUEVISION NUVISTA+ Mac professional 
video prod, card (capture, genlock/chroma key, 
overlay, quality output), NTSC, top configura- 
tion (max memory). List $4765, selling $1,995 
or best offer. Faxed info avail. George (808) 
261-7011; fax: (808)261-2388. 

Distribution 



AFFABLE DISTRIBUTOR & ATVT member 
seeks quality ind. prods for exclusive worldwide 
distribution. If program is accepted, we will 
send contract in 7 days. Send VHS w/ SASE to 
Chip Taylor Communications, 15 Spollett Dr., 
Deny, NH 03038. 

ALTERNATIVE FILMWORKS, experimental 
film distributor, seeks ind. film/video works, 
any length. No mainstream films. Send video 
to: Alternative Filmworks, Dept. IC, 259 
Oakwood Ave., State College, PA 16803- 
1698; (814) 867-1528; fax: 9488. 

AQUARIUS PRODUCTIONS seeks videos on 



learning disabilities, special ed., holistic medi- 
cine & coping w/ chronic diseases, among 
other topics. Call/send videos for preview. 
Contact: Leslie Kussman, Aquarius, 35 Main 
St., Wayland, MA 01778; (508) 651-2963. 

ATA TRADING CORP., actively &. successful- 
ly distributing ind. prods, for over 50 yrs, seeks 
new programming of all types for worldwide 
distribution into all markets. Contact us at 
(212) 594-6460. 

SEEKING NEW WORKS for educational & 
health-care markets. Fanlight Productions dis- 
tributes films/videos in areas of health, sociolo- 
gy, psychology, etc. Karen McMillen, Fanlight 
Productions, 47 Halifax St., Boston, MA 
02130; (800)937-4113. 

SEEKING NEW WORKS for educational mar- 
kets. Educational Prods, distributes videos on 
early childhood education, special ed. & parent 
ed. Contact: Linda Freedman, Educational 
Prods., 7412 SW Beaverton, Hillsdale Hwy., 
Portland, OR 97225; (800) 950-4949. 

VARIED DIRECTIONS INT'L, distributors of 
socially important, award-winning programs on 
child abuse, health & women's issues, seeks 
select films/videos. Call Joyce at (800) 888- 
5236 or write: 69 Elm Street, Camden, ME 
04843; fax: (207) 236-4512. 



Freelancers 



OPTICAL SOUND TRACKS, 16mm & 35mm! 
If you want high-quality sound for your film, 
you need high-quality sound negatives. 
Contact: Mike Holloway, Optical Sound/ 
Chicago, 24 W. Erie, Chicago, II 60010 or call 
(312) 943-1771, (708) 541-8488. 

16MM PROD. PACKAGE w/ cinema tographer 
from $150/day. Crystal-sync camera w/ fluid 
head, Nagra, mikes, Mole/Lowell lights, 
dolly/track, etc. Full 16mm post avail.: editing, 
sound transfer 1/4" to 16 mag (.055/ft). Sound 
mix only $70/hr! Tom (201) 933-6698. 

AWARD-WINNING CAMERAMAN w/ 16mm 
Aaton, Betacam SP & Steadicam seeks chal- 
lenging projects. Partial client list: ABC Sports, 
Atlantic Records, IBM, Pitney Bowes, Wild- 
erness Society. Complete crews avail. Reason- 
able rates. Mike Carmine (718) 224-3355. 

AWARD-WINNING DIRECTOR OF PHO- 
TOGRAPHY, West Coast, seeks hip projects. 
1st AC, SR pkg. w/ Zeiss, Ultra T's, lights &. 
sound pkg. incl. Nagra 4, 415 Sennheiser. 
Features, shorts, docs. Best rates. Passport. Call 
for reel. (310) 453-0078; fax: 828-5063. 

BETACAM SP cameraman w/ Sony 3 -chip 
BVP-70/BW-5SP, avail, for your project. Low 
rates. Equipment pkg, DP kit, Sennheiser mics, 
5-passenger van. Audio Engineer avail. 3/4" 
Sony off-line editing system. Thomas (212) 
279-7003 or (201) 667-9894. 

BETACAM SP LOCATION PKG w/ technician: 
$400/day. Incl. lights, mics & Sachler tripod. 
Same but non-SP Beta, 3/4" or Hi8: $300. 
Window dubs, Betacam, Hi8, VHS & 3/4" also 
avail. Electronic Visions (212) 691-0375. 



BETACAM SP-BVW 507 Location pkg: Incl. 
lights, Sachler 20 & audio pkg $350/day. Crews 
avail. Betacam to Betacam w/ RM 450 con- 
troller. Off-line editing $45/hour. Window 
dubs, Betacam, VHS, 3/4" & Hi-8 avail. 
Michael (212) 620-0933. 

CAMERAMAN: award-winning, sensitive, effi- 
cient. 10 yrs. exp. in docs & industrials, over- 
seas projects. W/ or w/out Sony BVW-300A 
Beta SP pkg (highest resolution &. sensitivity 
avail.). Rates tailored to project & budget. 
Scott (212) 721-3668. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER looking for interesting 
projects. Credits incl.: Metropolitan, The Night 
We Never Met &. Barcelona. John Thomas 
(201) 783-7360. 

C4, BBC AWARD-WINNING doc directors, 
camera team, w/ Aaton pkg; verite, arts, plus 
remote films in Latin America, Himalayas, 
Asia, Arctic, Europe. Americans based in 
Britain, speak Spanish; will work in video. 011- 
44-494-675842 (ph./fax). 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Experien- 
ced, award-winning cinematographer w/ 16mm 
Aaton pkg avail, for interesting & challenging 
projects. Feature, doc, or short subject form. 
Reasonable rates. Call Moshe (212) 505-1769. 

DDRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ awards, 
talent & experience. Credits incl. features, 
commercials, industrials, docs, shorts &. music 
videos. Owner of Aaton 16mm/Super 16 pkg. 
35mm pkg also avail. Call for my reel. Bob 
(718) 855-7731. 

DP/STEADICAM ARTIST w/ 16SR, 35BL, 
superspeed lenses, 3-chip camera & BVU 150 
deck sound equip., lighting, van. Passport. 
Certified Scuba diver, French, little Spanish. 
Features, commercials, music videos. Call Mick 
(212) 929-7728. 

ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY, frequent 
contributor to "Legal Brief column in The 
Independent &. other magazines, offers legal ser- 
vices to film/video community on development 
thru distribution. Reasonable rates. Contact 
Robert L. Seigel, Esq. (212) 545-9085. 

EXPERffiNCED EUROPEAN CINEMATOG- 
RAPHER avail, for work from 35mm to Hi8, 
feature films to docs, music videos to experi- 
mentals, news to commercials. Reel upon 
request. Tomi Streiff, Streiffschuss Vilm & 
Fideo AG, 124 E. Broadway, NY, NY 10002; 

(212) 349-8747. 

EXPERDENCED DDRECTOR OF PHOTOGRA- 
PHY w/ Arri 16 SR pkg. &. Mole Richardson 
lighting pkg. Seeks interesting film projects in 
feature or short-subject form. Very reasonable 
rates for new directors & screenwriters. (212) 
737-6815; fax: 423-1125. 

FOLM & TV JOBS. National listings. Profession- 
al, technical & prod. Published 2x/mo. 6 
issues/$35, 12/$60, 22/$95. Send check/m.o.: 
Entertainment Employment Journal, 7095 
Hollywood Blvd. #815, Hollywood, CA 90028; 

(213) 969-8500. 

GROW YOUR BUSDSTESS: Business Strategy 
Seminar offers 10-wk. strategy & support 
groups for entrepreneurs. Small-business own- 



March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 49 




TIRED OF THE YEAR END 

TAX MESS? 

Do you need an accountant whose 
there for you throughout 
the year? » 1 

SOLUTION . . . 

• Preparing your Tax Return 

• Answering your Tax Questions 

• Helping you benefit from the Tax Laws 

• Assisting you in your Bookkeeping 

• Affordable 

SPECIALIZING IN 
• FILM & VIDEO ARTS • 



VASCO ACCOUNTING 

20 WEST 20TH STREET 
i SUITE 808 

. NEW YORK, NY 10011 



Ijf TEL: 212 • 989 -4789 
FAX: 212*989 -4897 



WHEN IT COMES TO 




mmssm 

NEW YORK 

420 LEXINGTON AVENUE 

NEW YORK, N.Y. 10170-0199 

TEL: (212) 867-3550 • FAX: (212) 983-6483 

JOLYON F. STERN, President 

CAROL A. BRESSI, Manager 
Entertainment & Media Division 

LOS ANGELES 

11365 VENTURA BOULEVARD 

STUDIO CITY, CA 91 604 

TEL: (818) 763-9365 • FAX: (818) 762-2242 

JERRY VANDESANDE • BILL HUDSON 



AFFILIATES IN: LONDON • PARIS • MUNICH 




^ with Dov S-S Simens 



"o's, Writ** 5 



// 



HFI. . . the intelligent alternative 
to 4-year film schools!" 

□ UCLA = 4-years, cost $65,000 & get theory 

□ USC = 4-years, cost $80,000 & get theory 
n, NYU = 4-years, cost $85,000 & get theory 
3 HFI = 2-DAYS, ONLY $279 & GET FACTS 



NY/MANHATTAN (March 5-6, June 18-19) 

LA/HOLLYWOOD (March 12-13, April 23-24, June 25-26) 

Atlanta (March 19-20,) San Francisco (March 26-27.) Philadelphia (April 9-10,) 

Dallas (April 16-17), Seattle (Apr 30-May 1), Chicago (May 7-8), Boston (May 14-15), 

Phoenix (May 21-22), Washington D.C. (June 4-5) 



Only $279. Accredited! Guaranteed! 

Checks and major credit cards accepted! 

Courses sell out. 

HFI, Box 481252, Los Angeles, CA 90048 



Dov S-S Simens' 
HOLLYWOOD 



1 -800-366-3456 



GHSJ 

INSTITUTE 



ers challenge you to focus your energy & 
expand your horizons. Immediate results. For 
info, call Katherine Crowley (212) 481-7075. 

HISTORICAL RESEARCHER will locate Nat'l 
Archives & Library of Congress textual materi- 
als, motion-picture film, video 6k sound record- 
ings, maps &. photos. Contact: Maria Bisaccia, 
1718 P St. NW, Washington, DC 20036; (202) 
745-7645. 

PRODUCTION HELP IN NEPAL: Experienced 
filmmaker/videographer can provide liaison, 
logistical, research 6k prod, support. Contact 
Raju Gurung in Nepal (977) 1-414542; fax: c/o 
Sabhadoot (977) 1-411933. 

SCORE! Your film that is. Resourceful, inex- 
pensive professional composer. Features, 
shorts, docs, commercials, industrials, corpo- 
rate pieces done w/ style 6k finesse. Call Jack for 
appointment or demo tape at (212) 995-0760. 

SOUND DESIGN, mixing, sound editing w/ 
digital nonlinear system for video/film projects. 
Original composition also avail. Special rates 
for AIVF members. Call Eric or Adrian in San 
Francisco (415) 546-6332 or (415) 206-9363. 

STEADICAM for film 6k video. Special rates for 
inds. Call Sergei Franklin (212) 228-4254. 

TOP-CREDIT DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRA- 
PHY, West Coast: operator on major motion 
pictures/DP on lower budgets seeks hip pro- 
jects. Self-owned 16mm 6k Betacam SP prod, 
packages; 35mm avail. Award winner, vision- 
ary. Reasonable. Call John (213) 656-3550. 

Preproduction 

COPRODUCER/CODIRECTOR sought to 
develop low-budget doc films on art 6k cultural 
subjects. (No salary yet.) Prefer bilingual 
French or Russian speaker. Contact Katherine 
at (212) 724-2175. 

CREW POSITIONS: Mourning Dove Pictures 
seeks DP, prod, manager, prod, designer, script 
supervisor, sound recordist, gaffer, editor for 
16mm feature, Killers. Insurance, meals, 
deferred pay. Send resumes to: Robert Hanlon, 
Box 360, East Rockaway, N.Y. 11581. 

FLAN DE COCO FTLMS in nat'l search for new 
writers. We are young ind. prod. co. looking for 
undiscovered talent to collaborate w/ on devel- 
opment of features. Accepting submissions in 
any form (screenplays, plays, short stories, 
etc.). Flan de Coco Films, Box 93032, Los 
Angeles, CA 90093. 

INDEPENDENT producer/director seeks fea- 
ture scripts for 1994-5 prod. Must be low-bud- 
get-minded 6k character/relationship-oriented 
w/ unspecific locations. Send synopsis 6k 10- 
page sample to: Aurora Films, 844 Bates, 
Birmingham, MI 48009. 

I NEED A SUPER 16MM DP who wants to 
shoot exciting ind. feature in Aug. ( 90-min., 
color project for commercial release). Need 
extremely talented DP looking to break off in 
different direction. Call Kirby (212) 512-1469. 

PRODUCER w/ financing seeks low-budget 
feature script for hot, young director. Must be 
character/relationship-driven, funny. Prefer 
characters in 20s. Submit synopsis through 



50 THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



atty./agent or write for release form to: Synop- 
sis, Box 29314, Los Angeles, CA 90029. 

SCREENPLAY CONTESTS (all 35 of them) 
offer $ 1 .4 million in cash, recognition, publici- 
ty, representation, fellowships, etc. Do not 
ignore this route to success. For info on com- 
prehensive screenplay contest book: Writer's 
Aide, 1685 So. Colorado Blvd., Box 237-C, 
Denver, CO 80222. 

SCRIPT SUPERVISION SEMINAR in NYC, 
April 2-3, 9:30 to 5:30, w/ Lynne Twentyman, 
I.A.T.S.E. Locals 161 & 871. (Credits incl. 
Scent of a Woman & Carlito's Way). Covers fea- 
ture film, series TV & commercials. $295 per 
session. (212) 580-0677. 

SHOOTING IN ROCKY MOUNTAIN WEST? 

Producing, prod, management & location sup- 
port for features, docs., commercials & PSAs at 
all budget levels in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, 
Utah, Colorado & New Mexico. Call Hunter 
Neil Company (406) 585-7414. 

SOUND MAN w/ own equipment & experi- 
ence working w/ Hi8 video needed for video- 
to-film transferred direct to video feature. Must 
be NY Tri State area-based. Call John (718) 
389-9871. 

SCREENPLAY DOCTOR & MOVIE MECHAN- 
IC. Professional story editors/postprod. special- 
ists will analyze your screenplay or treatment & 
evaluate your film-in-progress. Major studio & 
ind. background. Reasonable rates. Call (212) 
219-9224. 

VIDEOGRAPHER w/ own Hi8 camera needed 
for video-to-film transferred direct to video fea- 
ture. Must be NY Tri State area-based. Call 
John (718) 389-9871. 

P0STPR0DUCTI0N 

3/4" SONY OFF-LINE system delivered to you 
& installed: 5850, 5800, RM 440, 2 monitors 
$500/wk., $l,600/mo. Delivery & installation 
incl. Equipment clean & professionally main- 
tained. Thomas (212) 279-7003 or (201) 667- 
9894. 

16MM CUTTING ROOMS: 8-plate & 6-plate 
fully equipped rooms, sound-transfer facilities, 
24-hr. access. Downtown, near all subways & 
Canal St. Reasonable rates. (212) 925-1500. 

16MM EDITING SUITE for rent. 8-plate 
Steenbeck in spacious cutting room w/ 16mm 
mag dubber, 1/4" Ampex-reel-to-reel. Very 
reasonable rates. Good working atmosphere on 
quiet street in W. Village. Call for info. (212) 
242-6260. 

AVID PROP: incl. AVID 5.03 (4000 model); 
AVR l-6e, 12 gigabytes storage; Sony UVW 
1800 Beta SP deck; Sony U-matic 9800 3/4" SP 
deck, phone, large space, 24-hr. access & secu- 
rity/7 days. K- Video, 611 Broadway, ste. 714, 
NY, NY 10012; (212)228-9102; fax: 475-9363. 

BRODSKY & TREADWAY: S-8 & regular 
8mm film-to-video masters, scene-by-scene to 
1" & Betacam. By appointment only. (508) 
948-7985. 

EDIT ON LIGHTWORKS, non-linear machine 
taking Hollywood by storm. Powerful, fast, 
ample high-quality storage. Suitable for long or 



CINE LABORATORY SERVICES. We use Eastman Products 



NEW ENGLAND'S 
ONLY FULL 
SERVICE 16MM 
LABORATORY. 

35HH B&W NEG WITH PRINT 
35MM COLOR VIDEOPREP 
B&W SUPER 8 Same Day 
AFFORDABLE, QUICK 
AND CONVENIENT. 



278 BABCOCK ST. BOSTON. MA 02215 617-254-7882 




VIDEO POST PRODUCTION 



DoQiMr 



i 



BETACAM SP Editing & 
A/B from Hi8 or 3/4 SP 

CALL FOR LOW RATE 



3/4" A/B Roll Editing still 

$45.00/hr with editor 

Addresstrack or audio TC 

Digital Effects, Switcher, GPI, 

Hi Res, Character Generator & 

VIDEO TOASTER 4000 

Animation, 2D & 3D Graphics 



SunRize STUDIO 16 
16 bit Digital Audio Editing 



TC striping, Windowdubs, Copies 

Transfers from HI 8 & S-VHS, Dubs 

Studio & Location shoots 



Tel: 212 219-9240 
Fax: 212 966-5618 




Mercer 

Street 
Sound 



Digital Audio for 
Film and Video 

24 Track Digital 

Original Music 
Sound Effects 
Voice Over and AOR 
3/4" Video Lockup 
MIDI Room 
Protools/Fairlight/ADAT 

Discount rates for independents 

212-966-6794 

133 Mercer St. NYC 10012 



Avids for Rent 

• At Your Location 

• Complete Technical Support 

• Flexible System Configurations 

• Affordable Rates 






For more information, call Don Blauvelt at (212) 390-0225 



March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 51 



Emmy nominated 

Tom Borton 

Composer 




SOHO 



AVI D 



INEXPENSIVE 
TOP-OF-THE-LINE 
AVID SUITE 

FOR RENT 

• 

A PLEASANT & PRIVATE 

WORK ENVIRONMENT 

IN THE MIDDLE OF SOHO 



O 



CALL (212) 966 0625 



SOoHO 



AVID 




short projects, film or video. Editors &. training 
available. To rent, call Davis Lindblom (212) 
619-5098, 941-6030. 

EDIT YOUR FILM or make your reel for less. 
Off-line video editing at 21st St. & 5th Ave. 
Well-maintained 3/4" & video edit system, CD 
&. cassette w/ mixer, T.C. generator, fax, 
phone, 24 hrs; $125/day, $575/week. Hourly 
rates. Red Barn Films: (212) 982-6900. 

NONLINEAR EDITING: Full postprod. Edit 
picture &. sound. Student & non-commercial 
rates avail. Call Stephan at (212) 206-0008. 

THE MEDIA LOFT: video editing, computer &. 
photo service. Formerly Adaptors, Inc. Low 
rates. VHS, 3/4", Interformat, S-8 film, SEG, 
Amiga, titling, sound. Grants/discounts avail. 
727 6th Ave., NY, NY 10010; (212) 924-4893. 

TOTAL S-8 SOUND film services. All S-8 
prod., postprod., sync sound, mix, multitrack, 
single & double system sound editing, transfers, 
striping, stills, etc. Send SASE for rate sheet or 
call Bill Creston, 727 6th Ave., NY, NY 10010; 
(212) 924-4893. 

YOUR PLACE OR MINE? Beta SP Edit System 
w/ Sony 910 controller: $2,000/wk. Sony 3/4" 
deluxe off-line w/ Convergence Super90+: 
$500/wk. Studio in CT w/ guest room or deliv- 
ery for fee. Sony BVW 50 Beta SP field deck 
$175/day. Editors avail. (203) 227-8569. 











APS RENTALS. INC. 








Complete 16mm Camera, Dolly, Sound and 
Lighting Packages at Bargain Prices. 

"cut your budget in half by shooting with 
APS RENTALS" 

625 BROADWAY, 10TH FLOOR, NEW YORK 
(212)254-9118 • FAX (212)254-0915 





FIVF THANKS 

The Foundation for Independent Video 
and Film (FIVF), the foundation affiliate of 
the Association for Independent Video and 
Filmmakers (ATVF), supports a variety of 
programs and services for the independent 
producer community, including publication 
of The Independent, maintenance of the 
Festival Bureau, seminars and workshops, 
and an information clearning house. None 
of this work would be possible without the 
generous support of the following agencies, 
foundations, and organizations: 

The New York State Council on the Arts, 
the National Endowment for the Arts, the 
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur 
Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, 
the Andy Warhol Foundation for the 
Visual Arts, National Video Resources, and 
the Consolidated Edison Company of New 
York. 

Thanks also go to the following individuals 
and businesses: 

Benefactors: 

Mr. Irwin W. Young 

Sponsors: 

Ms. Jeanine Basinger, Mr. Daniel 
Edelman, Mr. Robert Richter, Mr. 
George C. Stoney, AVID Technology, 
Inc. 

Business/Industry: 

Award Video-Film Cortland, OH 

Delphis, Cordand, OH 

Thunder Productions, Los Angeles, CA 



52 THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



Notices 



NOTICES ARE LISTED FREE OF CHARGE. AIVF MEM- 
BERS RECEIVE FIRST PRIORITY; OTHERS ARE INCLUD- 
ED AS SPACE PERMITS. THE INDEPENDENT RESERVES 
THE RIGHT TO EDIT FOR LENGTH. DEADLINES FOR 
NOTICES WILL BE RESPECTED. THESE ARE THE 8TH OF 
THE MONTH, TWO MONTHS PRIOR TO COVER DATE 
(E.G., APRIL 1 FOR THE JUNE ISSUE.) PLEASE NOTE 
NEW DEADLINE. SEND TO: INDEPENDENT NOTICES, 
FIVF, 625 BROADWAY, NY, NY 10012. 



Conferences • Seminars 

FILM ARTS FOUNDATION offers ongoing 
workshops & seminars covering wide range of 
topics, from 16mm film &. video prod, to 
fundraising, distribution, screenwriting, special 
effects &. guest lectures. Technical workshops 
are small, hands-on &. taught by professionals 
in field. Contact: FAF, 346 Ninth St., 2nd fl., 
San Francisco, CA 94103; (914) 552-8760. 

HARVESTWORKS in Manhattan offers classes 
in subjects ranging from Audio/Video Syn- 
chronization to Introduction to Multimedia 
Prod. & Audio Preprod. All classes (1-2 days) 
held at 596 Broadway, NY, NY. To register, 
call: John McGeehan (212) 431-1130. 

iEAR STUDIOS presents nat'l interactive elec- 
tronic arts telecast w/ Pauline Oliveros, com- 
poser, performing segment from Winga the 
Queen-King. W/ access to KU-band satellite 
dish, you can interact live through telephone 
& picture-tel. March 30, 7pm EST, G Star 1, 
transponder 3 horizontal (color bars &. tone 
from6:30-7pm). Contact: (518) 276-4783. 

SMPTE will conduct all-day tutorial, "Pixels, 
Pictures & Perception: The Differences &. 
Similarities between Computer Imagery, Film 
& Video" Mar. 5 at Fashion Institute of Tech- 
nology in NYC. Charles Poynton of Sun Micro- 
systems will lead int'l team of presenters. 
Advance registration: $35/members, $25 /stu- 
dent members, $125/nonmembers, $60/stu- 
dents. Call: Linda Young (212) 757-4580. 

TISCH SCHOOL OF THE ARTS at New York 
University will hold its annual Video Festival, 
March 30- April 1, 6-10 p.m. at Casa Italiana, 
24 W. 12th St, NY, NY. For more info, call the 
Office of Special Events (212) 998-1795. 

VIDEO EXPO/IMAGE WORLD, expo & semi- 
nar program for video prod., computer anima- 
tion, graphics, multimedia, presentation, digital 
imaging &. prepress imaging professionals, will 
be held April 25-29 at the ExpoCenter in 
Chicago &. Sept. 19-23 at Jacob Javits 
Convention Center in NYC. For more info, 
call: Janet Vargas, Knowledge Industry 
Publications, Inc. (914) 328-9157. 

VIDEOMAKER EXPO, focusing on tools & 
techniques of video prod, will run from April 
21-23 at Meadowlands Convention Center, 
Secaucus, NJ. For info, contact: Chris Thomas 
(916) 891-8410. 

VIRGINIA CENTER FOR MEDIA & CUL- 
TURE will hold its 2nd annual conference in 
Charlottesville, VA, Mar. 25-26. Preconf. 
workshop on fundraising for ind. film/video: 



Mar. 24- Conference incl. keynote by John 
Handardt, screenings from Sinking Creek fest 
collection & Media Forum on impact of Info 
Superhighway on indies. Contact: Michelle 
Branigan, Center Ctr, 145 Ednam Dr., 
Charlottesville, VA 22903; (804) 924-3296. 

Films • Tapes Wanted 

ALIVE TV is now accepting submissions of new 
films/videos. Experimental films, performance 
pieces, animation, narrative, shorts &. essay 
works unique in content or style desired. 
Preference placed on work under 1/2 hr. Alive 
TV tries to be wake-up call to mainstream 
media (&. PBS). Please watch program on local 
PBS station &. only submit work that seems in 
sync w/ our goals. Help us survive as 1 of last 
non-mainstream programs on network TV. 
Send work on 1/2" or 3/4" w/ filmmaker's bio & 
film bio (awards, distributors, etc.) to: Neil 
Sieling, exec, producer, AUve TV, KTCA, 172 
E. 4th St, St. Paul, MN 55101. 

ART ON FILM DATABASE wants to know: 
Have you produced a film, video or video disc 
on the visual arts? Send info to Program for Art 
on Film Database, computer index to over 
19,000 prods on the visual arts. Interested in 
prods on all visual arts topics &. welcomes info 
on prods about artists of color & multicultural 
art projects. Art on Film Database, Program for 
Art on Film, 980 Madison Ave, NY, NY 
10021; fax: (212)628-8963. 

BAD TWIN, NY-based prod./exhibition collec- 
tive, seeks films under 30 min. for ongoing pro- 
grams in Europe & US. Alternative approach- 
es to all genres & forms welcome. Must have 
finished 16mm prints avail. Submit VHS only 
for preview; incl. SASE for return. Bad Twin, 
Box 528, Cooper Station, NY, NY 10276. 

BANANA CLUB, ind. prod, company specializ- 
ing in networking w/ Japanese investors, pro- 
ducers, promoters, distributors, recording 
labels, TV networks &. other media industries, 
seeks new materials in cinema, video, music &. 
performing arts. Deadline: ongoing. Send treat- 
ment, description, samples, press kit, standard 
release form & $20 filing fee to: Banana Club, 
41 Union Sq. West, ste. 714, NY, NY 10003. 

BLACK ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION, 

seeks films/videos by black ind. makers, direc- 
tors, or producers for "Black Vision," portion of 
Screen Scene, weekly 1/2-hr. show that previews 
TV lineup & latest theatrical releases. 
Deadline: Ongoing. For more info, contact: 
Screen Scene, BET, 1899-9th St. NE, 
Washington, DC 20018; (202) 636-2400. 

BLACK VIDEO PERSPECTIVE, new communi- 
ty TV prod, in Atlanta area, seeks works 
for/by /about African Americans. For more info, 
contact: Karen L. Forest (404) 231-4846. 

BRONXNET (Bronx Community Cable 
Programming Corporation), nonprofit organi- 
zation controlling 4 access channels on Bronx 
Cable- TV System, seeks works by ind. video 
& filmmakers for access airing. BRONXNET 
produces programs, facilitates &. assists com- 
munity in producing & cablecasting programs 



Computerized 
Editing 

3/4" SP 
Betacam SP 

Character Generator 
Hi-8 to Betacam SP dubs 
Beta SP to 3/4" window dubs 

24 hour access 
Rates start at 

$15/hr 




1 123 Broadway, Suite 814 
New York, New York 10010 

212-228-4254 



1 A- ^-^T 

VlUtUi 



m m su* 



Videotape Editing. 
Automated QuickTime 1 
Movies from your 




Turns your computer Into a"" 

powerful video editing utility. 

Controls consumer, industrial and 

most professional video equipment. 

Supports V1SCA and RS 422 VTRs. 

Infrared control for the record device and 
Head and Tail video Snap-Shots™ with all 
QuickTime™ video boards. Now supports 
Panasonic AG 1970 & 5700 





14 Ross Avenue, Millis, MA 02054 

(50&) 376-3712 Fax (50S>) 376-3714 

Orders Only - (SOO)2S3-5553 

America Online/key word-Abbate 



March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 53 



WHERE 

EXPERIENCE 

SHOWS 




Serving The Independent Filmmaker For 23 Years. 

A Black/White and Color Full Service Lab 
35mm, 16mm Dailies 

Prep and Clean 

Film to Video Transfer 

Video to Film Transfer 

Student Rates Available 

Film Craft Video 

37630 Interchange Drive • Farmington Hills, Ml 48335 
Sates Office 810 474-3900 • Fax 810 474-8535 

• 

Film Craft Laboratories 

66 Sibley Street • Detroit, Ml 48201 
31 3 962-261 1 • Fax 31 3 962-9888 



IJftAPRC -> MrF i 



BCEA. t(V 



You don't need an Aeroflot ticket 
to find compelling images from 
Russia. Now the full sweep of 
Russian history — from before the 
1917 Revolution to the revolution 
of today — is available in our com- 
prehensive film and video archive. 
To find out more, give us a call. 

The Russian 
Archive 

At David Royle Productions 

(212) 947-8433 




STREET VIDEO, inc. (212) 594-7530 



HI8 TO BETA COMPONENT EDITING $75 



POST PRODUCTION SERVICES ,« 

Beta-Beta edit $75 HI8-Beta edit $75 

3/4-3/4 edit $55 HI 8-3/4 edit $55 

3/4-3/4 self edit $35 VHS-VHS self edit $10 

Beta-Beta w/HI8 or 3/4 source in 3 machine system w/effects $95 

Amiga character generator pre-session $40 

Amiga character generator in session (in addition to edit) $20 

Miicrogen character generator in session (in addition to edit) $10 

1 hour minimum on all editing services 



TIME CODE SERVICES ,,?,,« P ™,> 

Beta Time Code Generation $25 HI8 & 3/4 Time Code Generation 



.$25 



Beta to VHS Burn-in $25 HI8 & 3/4 to VHS Burn-in $25 

1 hour minimun on all timecode services 



PRODUCTION SERVICES (Daily rates/Broadcast) 

Betacam SP E.N.G. package w/crew of two $850 

Pro HI Band 8 E.N.G. package w/crew of two $600 



29TH STREET IS THE BEST! 



for, by & about the Bronx. Contact: Fred 
Weiss, program director, (718) 960-1180. 

CAROUSEL, series for municipal cable chan- 
nels 23 & 49 in Chicago, seeks films/videos for 
children 12 yrs & under, any length, any genre. 
Send w/ appropriate release, list of credits 6k 
personal info to: Carousel, c/o Screen 
Magazine, 720 N. Wabash, Chicago, IL 60611. 
Tapes returned if accompanied by postage. 

CATHODE CAFE seeks short video-art inter- 
stitials to play between alternative-music 
videos on Seattle's TCI/Viacom Channel 29, 
Sundays 9:30 p.m. Format: 3/4" preferred; 1/2" 
ok. Contact: Stan LePard, 2700 Aiki Ave. SW 
#305, Seattle, WA 98116; (206) 937-2353. 

CENTRAL AMERICA UPDATE, 1/2-hour, 
monthly news & public affairs program, shown 
on public-access stations across country, is 
looking for footage or produced pieces (1-30 
min.) on Central America, Cuba 6k Haiti 
(especially Haiti, Salvadoran elections, return 
of Guatamalan refugees from Mexico). Also 
looking for someone in D.C. to tape interviews 
for show. Can't pay, but can cover costs of tape 
6k mailing. Contact: Carol Yourman, 362 
Washington St., Cambridge, MA 02139; (617) 
492-8719. 

CINETECA DE CINE ACCION seeks film 6k 

video submissions by 6k about Latinos for regu- 
lar screening series. Fees paid. Formats: 16mm, 
3/4", 1/2", video. Cine Accion, 346 9th St., San 
Francisco, CA 94103; (415) 553-8135. 

CITY TV, progressive municipal cable access 
channel in Santa Monica, seeks works on 
seniors, disabled, children, Spanish-language 6k 
video art; any length. Broadcast exchanged for 
equip, access at state-of-the-art facility. 
Contact: Laura Greenfield, cable TV manager, 
City TV, 1685 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 
90401; (213) 458-8590. 

COLLECTING COLLECTORS, video screening 
series that celebrates people w/ passion for col- 
lecting, seeks everything from unedited tapes 
to feature films. Send VHS tape w/ SASE 6k 
description to: Danny Leonard, media arts 
coordinator, Center for Creative Work, 425 
Bush St., ste. 425, San Francisco, CA 94108; 
(510) 527-4814. 

DATABASE & DIRECTORY OF LATIN AM- 
ERICAN FILM & VIDEO organized by Int'l 
Media Resources Exchange seeks works by 
Latin American 6k US Latino ind. producers. 
To incl. work in this resource or for info., con- 
tact: Karen Ranucci, IMRE, 124 Washington 
Place, NY, NY 10014; (212) 463-0108. 

DOWNTOWN COMMUNITY TV (DCTV) 

accepts 3/4" 6k VHS tapes for open screenings 
6k special series w/focus on women, youth, mul- 
timedia performance video, Middle East, 
gayAesbian, Native American, labor 6k Asian 
art. Contact: Jocelyn Taylor, DCTV, 87 
Lafayette St., NY, NY 10013; (212) 941-1298. 

DUTV-CABLE 54, nonprofit educ. access 
channel operated by Drexel University in Phil- 
adelphia, is looking for works by ind. producers 
for broadcast. All genres 6k lengths considered. 
No payment; will return tapes. VHS, SVHS 6k 
3/4" accepted. Contact: George McCollough or 
Maria Elena Mongelli, DUTV-Cable 54, 33rd 
6k Chestnut Sts., Philadelphia, PA 19104. 



54 THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



DYKE TV, weekly NYC cable-TV show, seeks 
films & video shorts (under 10 min.). For info, 
call: (212) 343-935 or fax: 9337. 

THE EDGE, Denver-based collective, seeks 
films &. videos on alternative approaches, fem- 
inist stories, ethnically & sexually diverse 
works for monthly screenings. All genres con- 
sidered. 16mm, S-8, 3/4" & 1/2". Submit VHS 
for preview only. Send to: Lisa Bilodeau, 804 
West 4th Ave. #3, Denver, CO 80223. 

THE E-TEAM, children's TV show w/ environ- 
mental theme, seeks film/video footage & com- 
pleted works that maintain environmental, 
nature or science theme. Fees paid for footage 
used on air. Contact: David Calderwood, pro- 
ducer, Euro-Pacific Prods. (908) 530-4451. 

EN CAMINO, KRCB, seeks works of 30-60 min. 
in Spanish & English concerning Latino com- 
munity. Formats: 3/4", 16mm. Contact: Luis 
Nong, Box 2638, Rohnert Park, CA 94928. 

EZTV seeks film/video shorts (under 20 min.) 
for L.A.-based UHF TV show. Submit 1/2" or 
3/4" tapes. Narrative, experimental, doc. 
Anything goes. Contact: Jean Railla, EZTV, 
8547 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hollywood, CA 
90069. 

FEEDBACK, anthology cable-access program of 
ind. work, is accepting work on 3/4", 1/2" or Hi- 
8. Send tape 6k SASE to: N.A.M.E. Gallery, 
Attn. Video Commitee, 700 North Carpenter, 
Chicago, IL 60622; (312) 226-0671. 

FEM TV (Feminist TV), cable-access show in 
Houston, seeks short videos by/about/for 
women (3/4" preferred, no nudity). Videos 
credited. Tapes returned. Please mail to: Fern 
TV, Box 66604, Houston, TX 77266-6604. 

FILMBAB1ES COLLECTIVE, co-op of NY writ- 
ers & directors, seeks new members w/ short 
films for screening series (16mm, under 15 
min.). For more info, contact: Box 2100, NY, 
NY 10025 (incl. SASE); (212) 875-7537. 

FILM/VIDEO SHORTS (7-17 min.) wanted on 
various subjects for concept testing on nat'l 
TV. Submit 1/2" tapes for review to: Maureen 
Steinel, ste. 4768, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, NY, 
NY 10112. 

HOME GIRL PRODUCTIONS, consortium of 
women filmmakers, seeks home movies from 
lesbians for possible inclusion in feature length 
film. Proceeds from film will go to creation of 
lesbian film fund. Send inquiries or movies to: 
Home Girl Productions, 662 North Robertson 
Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069. 

IMAGE (con) TEXT, video program of issues of 
contextualization, use 6k ownership of public 6k 
private images in media, will be screened at 
1994 Northeast Regional Conference of the 
Society for Photographic Education, Nov. 4-6. 
Deadline: April 1. Don't send tapes, send 
SASE for prospectus to: Gene Gort/SPE, 
Hartford Art School, Univ. of Hartford, West 
Hartford, CT 06117. 

IND. PROGRAMMING NETWORK seeks stu- 
dent 6k ind. works from around country for new 
cable TV channel called XTV. For more info, 
call: Otto Khera at (602) 948-0381. 

LA PLAZA, weekly half-hour doc series pro- 
duced at WGBH Boston for 6k about Latino 
community, is interested in acquiring original 



Betacam SP Camera Packages 

The latest Broadcast Camera Packages at great rates 
Sony BVW-400 lightweight Camcorders 

"Hyper- HAD" Chips, Canon 8.5 X 14 Zoom lens w/Matte Box, Sachtler 18 Tripod, 
VA-500 Playback Unit or BVW-35s w/Component 26 Pin Adapter 

Sony BVW-507 Camcorders 

Sachtler 18 Tripod, 8021 Monitor, 
VA-500 Playback Unit 

Sony BVP-7s & BVW-35s 

Sachtler 18 Tripod, 8021 Monitor 

Audio and Lighting Kits 




THE VIDEO TEAM, INC. 

Call (212) 629-8010 



Video Duplication 



READY NEXT DAY- Mon-Fri 



3/4" U-matic & 1/2" VHS or Beta II Copies 

FROM 3/4", 1/2" VHS MASTER Add $25.00 per ONE INCH Master 

FROM ONE 20 MINUTES 30 MINUTES 60 MINUTES 1/2" VHS/Beta II 

MASTER 3/4" 1/2" 3/4" 1/2" 3/4" 1/2" 90 MIN. 120 MIN. 



One Copy $4.00 $4.00 $6.00 $5.00 

2-4 Copies 3.50 3.00 5.50 4.50 

5-9 Copies 3.00 2.50 4.50 3.50 

10-19 Copies 2.50 2.00 4.00 3.00 

1-4 RUSH Dubs. $8.00 $11.00 

TC Burn In $10.00 $14.00 

Window Dubs 5.00 7.00 



$9.00 $8.00 

8.00 6.00 

7.00 5.00 

6.00 4.50 

$17.00 

$26.00 

13.00 



$11.00 
8.00 
7.00 
6.00 



$14.00 
9.00 
8.00 
7.00 



$22.00 $28.00 

Inquire for LABELING 
& SHRINK WRAP 



PRICES ARE PER COPY- STOCK NOT INCLUDED. ASSEMBLY CHARGES ARE ADDITIONAL. 



EQUIPMENT: 3/4" Sony, 1/2" Panasonic 2 ch. industrial recorders and Grass 
Valley & Videotek distributors. Time base correction, optional, with Microtime 
and Tektronix equipment. TITLING & EDITING FACILITIES AVAILABLE 

3/4" & 1/2* EDITING Evenings & 24 Hour Access 
With and Without an Editor Instructions Available 
CHYRON TITLER AVAILABLE 
ONE LIGHT FILM TO TAPE TRANSFERS 
FILM STOCK. VIDEO TAPE, AUDIO TAPE, LEADER & SUPPLIES 



(212)475-7884 

814 BROADWAY 
NEW YORK, NY 10003 



BETA SP / SVHS / HI8 / ACQUISITION / EDITING 
TWM will beat any legit price for comparable services! 

SHOOTING: IKEGAMI HC 340 w SONY betacam sptopoftheime 

BVV-5:from $300 DAY/3CCDS- VHS: BR-S411U: from $135 DAY/HI-8 CCD V5000 : $75 DAY 
Optional Audio and Lighting Aces. Price breaks after 2 consecutive days. Wkly Discounts. 

EDITING : SONY BETA SP- PVW 2OOO series w AMIGA- 
THIRD WWW VIDEO TOASTER 3.0 - AMILINK, DVE's, Character Gen, Slow or 

Fast Mo , Wave Form Mon, VectorScope.TBC's, Sunrise. 16 
stereo digital audio, Stereo mixer . Full Beta SP A/B roll capability. 

- Self Service EDITING at $20 hr component, $25 hr Toaster 3, 
$35 A/B/roll. 

- Full EDITORIAL Services Available 

- Transfers and Window dubs from $30hr. Hi-8, S-VHS, or 3/4" to 
Beta SP. Window dubs to any format. 

- CMX EDL On Line mastering from non - linear EDL's. 

- DAY OR NIGHT- east 60'S location 




March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 55 



GREAT RESOURCE BOOHS FROM EIVF 

ORDER TODHV — SUPPLIES RRE LIMITED! 



AIVF Guide to International Rim & Video Festivals 

by Kathryn Dowser 

published by FIVF 

238 pages, $29.95/524.95 member price 

The 3rd edition of FIVF's bestseller is a completely indexed and easy-to-read 
compendium of over 600 international film and video festivals, with contact 
information, entry regulations, dates and deadlines, categories, accepted 
formats, and much more. The Guide includes information on all types of 
festivals: small and large, specialized and general, domestic and foreign. 

An important reference source which belongs in the library of every media 
professional: independent producers, distributors, festival directors, 
programmers, curators, exhibitors. 



AIVF Guide to Film and Video Distributors 

A Publication of the Foundation for Independent Video and Film 

edited by Kathryn Dowser 

184 pages, $19.50 

A must-read for independent film and video-makers searching for the right distributor. The 
AIVF Guide to Film and Video Distributors presents handy profiles of over 150 commercial 
and nonprofit distributors, practical information and company statistics on the type of work 
handled, primary markets, relations with producers, marketing and promotion, foreign 
distribution and contacts. Fully indexed, with additional contact lists of cable/satellite 
services and public television outlets, as well as a bibliography. This is the best 
compendium of distribution and information especially tailored for independent 
producers available. 








Alternative Visions 

Distributing Independent Video in a Home Video World 

by Debra Franco 

a co-publication of AFI and FIVF, 181 pages 

$12.95/59.95 AIVF and AFI member price 

Video cassettes and video stores have changed forever the economics of distribution for all 
moving image media — including alternative films and tapes. What has happened to 
institutional markets? What promise does home video distribution really hold for non- 
mainstream work? Chapters cover selling to schools, libraries, and individual consumers. 
Includes detailed case studies of the marketing of eight independent works. 
Essential reading for anyone with an interest in home video distribution. 




SEE ORDER CRRD FOR ORDERING INFORMATION 



CREATIVE SOLUTIONS 

foR your* post pRobiEMs!! 



WE OFFER 



Professional Super 16, 16 & 55mm 

Necative Cuttinc 



Professional Video Matchback to 
the Avid Media Composer 

Post Production Workshops/Seminars 



Editing 16 or 55mm or transfer to 

tape and edit on the avid media composer 

award-wlnninc creative editinc 

l\rt m A GT/f' NEGATIVE spRiNqS'MAonoa 
»W MmHO IJL MATCHERS i8co?70cuts 

4g£> Incorporated (415)756-2177 

Professional 16/35mm Motion Picture Editing and Conforming 



works by ind. film- & videomakers that deal w/ 
social & cultural issues concerning Latinos. 
Works between 25 & 28 min. encouraged. 
Please send tapes in Beta, 3/4" or VHS format 
to: La Plaza/Aquisitions, WGBH, 125 Western 
Ave., Boston, MA 02134. 

NEW AMERICAN MAKERS, nationally recog- 
nized venue for new works by emerging & 
under-recognized videomakers at Center for 
the Arts in SF, seeks works that challenge 
boundaries of creative video/TV. Honorarium 
of $2/min. for tapes. Send VHS tape, $15 entry 
fee &. SASE to: New American Makers, Box 
460490, San Francisco, CA 94146. 

NYU TV, channel 5 1 in NYC, is offering oppor- 
tunities for inds to showcase finished films &. 
videos. Submit materials to: Linda Noble, 26 
Washington Place, 1st fl„ NY, NY 10003. 

OLD & NEW MASTERS OF SUPER-8, invita- 
tional fest in 5th yr. at Anthology Film 
Archives, is expanding reference file of S-8 
filmmakers. Send VHS preview transfer of S-8 
films w/ SASE return mailer, s.a.s. postcard & 
$5 w/ support materials: 50-word bio, resume, 
S-8 filmography, stills, photo of yourself (w/ 
name, address, phone), description of films 
(duration, fps, sound/silent, color/b&w, yr.). 
Deadline: Ongoing. Send to: Barbara Rosen- 
thal, Old & New Masters of S-8, 727 Ave. of 
the Americas, NY, NY 10010. 

OPEN WIDE, weekly, half-hour TV series pro- 
duced by CBC Manitoba that profiles best of 
alternative, underground &. ind. cinema from 
Canada, US & world, seeks submissions. 
Looking for experimental, video art, comedy, 
drama, animation, docs &. music videos 
between 30 sec. &. 20 min. Submissions on 
16mm, VHS, Hi-8, 3/4", 1/2" or video. 
Film/video associations &. distribs. should send 
catalogs w/ submissions. License fee paid if 
selected for broadcast. Submissions may be in 
any language from any time. Send to: Open 
Wide, CBC Manitoba, 541 Portage Ave., 
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2G1, Attn: Shipping 
Dept.; (204) 788-3111, Gavin Rich, producer. 

PLANET CENTRAL TELEVISION seeks broad- 
cast-quality films, videos & animation censored 
by US TV as too controversial or political. 
Bonus considerations for submissions that are 
smart, funny, sexy & exhibit irreverent atti- 
tude. Send tape to: Dana Saunders, director of 
program acquisitions, Planet Central, 1415 
Third St. Promenade, ste. 301, Santa Monica, 
CA 90401; (310)458-4588. 

PRESCOTT COMMUNITY ACCESS CHAN- 
NEL requests noncommercial programs for 
local airing. No payment, but return by post 
guaranteed. Contact: Jeff Robertson, program 
coordinator, Channel 13, Box 885, Prescott, 
AZ; (602) 445-0909. 

SUPER CAMERA, prod, of Office KEI, int'l TV 
company, seeks unique &. never-before-seen 
footage. Areas incl. cutting edge of camera 
tech, footage that is dangerous to shoot (e.g., in 
volcanoes or underwater) &. events from nat- 
ural &. physical science worlds. Contact: Office 
KEI, 110 East 42nd St., ste. 1419, NY, NY 
10017, (212) 983-7479; fax: 7591. 

THIRD EYE MEDIA GROUP seeks interviews 
for series of videos on labor &. arts. First tape 
focuses on issues w/in media-arts community. 



56 THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



The Association 
of Independent 
Video and 
Filmmakers 



'Bme^iU o£ THenden&fcfr 



THE INDEPENDENT 

Membership provides you with a year's 
subscription to The Independent. 
Published 10 times a year, each issue 
includes festival listings, funding 
deadlines, exhibition venues, and 
more. Plus, you'll find thought- 
provoking features, news, and regular 
columns on business, technical, and 
legal matters. And special issues that 
highlight regional activity and focus on 
subjects such as media education and 
the new technologies. 

FESTIVAL BUREAU SERVICES 

ATVF maintains up-to-date information 
on over 650 national and international 
festivals, and can help you determine 
which are right for your film or 
video. We also work directly with many 
foreign festivals, in some cases collect- 
ing and shipping tapes or prints 
overseas, or serving as the U.S. host to 
visiting festival directors. 

^INFORMATION SERVICES 

In person or over the phone, ATVF can 
provide information about distributors, 
festivals, and general information 
pertinent to the field. Our library 
houses information on everything from 
distributors to sample contracts to 
budgets. 

NETWORKING 

Membership allows you to join fellow 
ATVF members at intimate events 
featuring festival directors, producers, 
distributors, and funders. 



rlfhen you join the Association of Independent Video and 
Filmmakers, you're doing something for yourself — and for 
others. Membership entitles you to a wide range of benefits. 
Plus, it connects you with a national network of independent 
producers. Adding your voice helps us all. The stronger AIVF 
is, the more we can act as advocate for the interests of inde- 
pendents like yourself — inside the corridors of Washington, 

with the press, and with others who affect our livelihoods. 
JOIN AIVF TODAY! 



ADVOCACY 

Whether it's freedom of expression, 
public funding, public TV, contractual 
agreements, cable legislation, or other 
issues that affect independents, ATVF 
is there working for you. 

DISCOUNTED BOOKS 

We have a large inventory of media 
books, as well as publishing our own 
titles on festivals, distribution, and 
foreign production resources. Members 
receive substantial discounts. 



ACCESS TO INSURANCE 

Membership makes you eligible to 
purchase health, disability, and life 
insurance, a dental plan and liability 
insurance through ATVF suppliers. 

SERVICE DISCOUNTS 

Discounts on equipment rentals, 
processing, editing, and other produc- 
tion necessities are available. 

SEMINARS 

Seminars explore business, aesthetic, 
legal, and technical topics, and offer a 
chance to meet other makers. 



AIVF 

625 Broadway 
9th floor 
New York, NY 
10012 



■ 



KmkSS 



^^B 



■" 



HU 



H 



PI 



i#S 



H0Sw 



H 



V- 



DOES YOUR LIBRARY HAVE THE INDEPENDENT? 

Take this coupon to your school or public librarian 
and request a subscription today! 



FILM & VIDEO MONTHLY 




LU 



LIBRARY SUBSCRIPTION COUPON 

•10 issues/yr 

•ISSN 0731-0589 

•Vol. 16 (1993) 

•Published by the Association of Independent Video & Filmmakers 

•Library, $75 ($90 outside North America) 

ORDER The Independent from: 

ATVF, 625 Broadway, 9th fl., New York, NY 10012; (212) 473-3400. 

EBSCO: (205) 991-6600; fax (205) 991-1479. 

FAXON (US): (800) 283-2966; (CAN): (519) 472-1005; fax 472-1072. 



Join ATVF today and get a one-year subscription to The Independent. 

Foreign Surface Rates 



Membership Rates 

(Canada, Mexico, US, PR) 

□ $25/student (enclose copy of 

student ID) 

□ $45/individual 

□ $75/library 

□ $100/nonprofit organization 

□ $150/business & industry 

□ Add $18 for 1st class mailing 



(Outside North America) 

□ $40/student (enclose copy of 

student ID) 

□ $60/individual 

□ $90/library 

□ $1 15/nonprofit organization 

□ $165/business & industry 

J Add $40 for foreign air mail 



BOOKS FOR SALE 

□ The ATVF Guide to International The ATVF Guide to Film & Video 

Film & Video Festivals ($29.95/ Distributors ($19.50) 

$24.95 member price) Alternative Visions ($12.95/$9.95 

ATVF or AFI members) 



Name 



Organization 

Address 

City 

State 



Zip 



Country _ 
Telephone 



Professional Status (e.g., dir.) 



92 



Enclosed is my check or money order. 
Or, please bill my: □ Visa 

□ Mastercard 

ACCOUNT # 
EXPIRATION DATE 
SIGNATURE 

Charge by phone: (212) 473-3400. 



Five thousand members strong, 
the Association of Independent 
Video and Filmmakers has been 
working for independent produc- 
ers — providing information, fight- 
ing for artists' rights, securing 
funding, negotiating discounts, 
and offering group insurance 
plans. Join our growing roster. 



MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES 

Individual membership 

1 issues of The Independent 
Access to all plans and discounts 
Festival /Distribution /Library services 
Information services 
Discounted admission to seminars 
Tape and publication discounts 
Advocacy campaign participation 
Free Motion Picture Enterprises Guide 
Voting and running for office on board 
of directors 

Student membership 

All the benefits of individual 
membership except voting & running 
for board of directors and health, life, 
disability insurance eligibility 

Library membership 

1 issues of The Independent 

Festival /Distribution / Library services 

Information services 

Free WIPE Guide 

PLUS: Special notice of upcoming 

publications 

Nonprofit Organizational membership 

All the benefits of individual 
membership except voting & running 
for board of directors 
PLUS: Includes up to 3 individuals 

Business/Industry membership 

All the benefits of individual 

membership except voting & running 

for board of directors 

PLUS: Special mention in The 

Independent 

Includes up to 3 individuals 






■1 



iV 



m 



m* 



SB 



■ 



ftaS 



H 






Tfe 



wsm 



m 



m 



■■ 



tssh 






Individuals who have worked to develop 
unions, spearheaded personnel policy reforms, 
etc. are encouraged to respond. Resulting tape 
will be distributed free to media-arts organiza- 
tions, serving as progressive organizing tool for 
workers to establish regulatory policies in areas 
of health benefits, contracts & other compen- 
sations. Contact: Third Eye Media, c/o Labor 
& the Arts, 103 Greene Ave. #2, Brooklyn, 
NY 11238; (718) 789-0633 (ph./fax). 

TV 2000, TV pilot, seeks new videos that con- 
vey positive images for teens. All genres (art, 
music &. film on video) . Send letter of permis- 
sion to air materials &. video to: Daryl Grant, 
Box 627, Ansonia Station, NY, NY 10023. 

UNQUOTE TELEVISION, seen by 9 million 
people on 42 broadcast &. cablecast stations 
nationwide last yr., seeks ind. doc, narrative, 
experimental, animation, performance films/ 
videos 6k media art under 28 min. 1/2" 6k 3/4" 
dubs preferred. For more info, contact: 
Unquote TV, c/o DUTV, 33rd 6k Chestnut St., 
Philadelphia, PA 19104; (215) 895-2927. 

VIRTUAL FOCUS seeks submissions of doc, 
narrative 6k art videos for monthly public 
screenings. Send VHS copies to: Virtual Focus, 
6019 Sunset Blvd., ste. 133, Hollywood, CA 
90028; (213) 250-8118. 

VISION FOOD, weekly public access show in 
LA and NYC, seeks visually exciting pieces in 
all genres (art, music 6k film on video) . Under 
20 min., 1/2" , 3/4" dubs. No payment, videos 
credited. Send letter of permission to air mate- 
rial 6k video to: Jack Holland, 5432 Edgewood 
PL, Los Angeles, CA 90019. 

WOMEN OF COLOR in Media Arts Database 
seeks submissions of films 6k videos for data- 
base that incl. video filmographies, bibliograph- 
ical info 6k data. Contact: Dorothy Thigpen, 
Women Make Movies, 462 Broadway, 5th fl., 
NY, NY 10013. 

WYOU-TV, cable-access station in Madison, 
WI, seeks music-related videos for wkly alter- 
native music show. Send 1/2" or 3/4" tapes. No 
payment; videos credited. Contact: WYOU- 
TV, 140 W. Gilman St., Madison, WI 53703. 

Opportunities • Gigs 

CD-ROM ART/CULTURE MAGAZINE seeks 
contributors. Bicoastal, interactive multimedia 
pub. (accessible as computer interface) will 
incorporate video, text, sound 6k graphics. 
Seeking work from writers and artists in all 
media. Focus is on formal experimentation 6k 
mixed media compositions. Themes incl.: 
media critcism; cybernetics; found sound/ 
imagery 6k info overload. Send submissions 
(film/videomakers should submit in VHS for- 
mat) to: GUSH metamedia, Box 3291, NY, NY 
10185. For more info, contact: Adam (718) 
858-9379 or Jack (415) 776-9400. 

IND. PRODUCERS interested in working for 
NYC agencies in freelance media prod, are 
invited to participate in new database directory 
to be distributed through Crosswalks TV & 
other sources. Will link inds. w/ government 
agencies creating media. $10 registration fee 
gets listing w/ 1 update per yr. For info 6k appl, 
write: SCS Productions, 244 W. 54 St. #800, 




MUSIC VIDEOS •FASHION 
• X NDUSTJBXAUS* 




BETACAM SJ 
WWDOWIX»S*TRANSFEftS 

2I2-2I3-3137 

17 W 27TH ST NYC 



rs 


liSiHflSWill 


Packages 

SONY, BETACAM SP CAMCORDER 
PACKAGE... $400 

SONY, PRO HI BAND 
PACKAGE... $200 

INCLUDED IN EACH PACKAGE: 

■ Light Kit plus Sun Gun w/Battery Belt 

■ Audio Kit plus Shore Field Mixer FP32 

■ Field monitor ■ Fluid tripod 

■ 

VHS -VHS PROFESSIONAL 
EDITING SYSTEM 

DO YOUR HI-8 AND BETACAM SP 
OFF LINE EDITING ON: 

JVC BR8600U to JVC BR8600U 
W/RM86U editing console... $10 per/hr. 

PEOPLE W/AIDS PROJECTS DISCOUNT 


1 Manahatta Images Corp. 

260 WEST 10TH STREET, STE. IE 
1 NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10014 
212-807-8825 FAX AVAILABLE 




I . 


— ■ 




HI-8 3/4 

D-2 rotes start as low as $ 185/hr 
(212) 997-1464 



R.G. VIDEO 

21 West 46th Street New York, NY 10036 




March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 57 



mmsmm 

mm 



D.R. REIFF 
& ASSOCIATES 



ENTERTAINMENT INSURANCE 

BROKERS 

320 WEST 57 ST 

NEW YORK, NY 10019 

(212)603-0231 FAX (212) 247-0739 



YALE 

LABORATORY, INC. 

1509 NORTH GORDON STREET 

HOLLYWOOD, CA 90028 

213-464-6181 

800-955-YALE 



CUSTOM COLOR 
NEGATIVE SERVICES 

16 COLOR REVERSAL 

16 BW REVERSAL & NEGATIVE 

SUPER EIGHT E-160 BW 

SUPER EIGHT IN SALES & RENTALS 

FILM TO VIDEO TRANSFERS 

BETACAM SP 



RUSH SERVICES 
MAIL ORDERS 

MC & VISA 



35mm Slides 

4x5's 
8 x 10's 
Flat Art 

Prints 

Books 
Objects 

If You ever put these on video you're missing something 

special if you don't do it at Aerial Image. Our proprietary 

motion control system produces the finest moves on stills 

you'll find anywhere. 




AERIAL IMAGE VIDEO SERVICE 



137 West 19th Street, New York City, NY 10011 Phone (212) 229-1930 



New York, NY 10019. 

LANCIT MEDIA PRODUCTIONS, producer of 
Emmy Award-winning Reading Rainbow chil- 
dren's series, seeks production interns. Interns 
will have access to all phases of prod, process 
from story & location research to editing. Term 
length 6k schedule flexible. No experience nec- 
essary. Contact: Arti Haberberg (212) 977- 
9100 (M-F, 10am-5pm). 

RAMAPO COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY, 4-year 
public liberal arts college, seeks appls. from 
media producers, artists & other media profes- 
sionals to teach couses in all forms of media 
prod. & theory. Send vitae & cover letters to: 
Dr. Pat Keeton, convenor, Communications 
Major, School of Contemporary Arts, Ramapo 
College of NJ, 505 Ramapo Valley Rd., 
Mahwah, NJ 07430. 

VIDEO CAMERAWOMEN needed to work as 
stringers covering local events throughout US 
for Dyke TV, weekly NYC cable TV show. For 
info, call (212) 343-9335 or fax: (212) 343- 
9337. 



Publications 

MONEY FOR FILM & VIDEO ARTISTS, publi- 
cation listing more than 190 sources of support 
for ind. film- 6k videomakers is avail, for $14-95 
+ shipping & handling. Contact: Doug Rose, 
ACA Books, Dept 25, 1285 Ave. of the 
Americas, 3rd fl., Area M, NY, NY 10019. 

NAMAC offers member directory, up-to-the- 
min. compilation of resource 6k contact info 
relevant to media-arts, community, cultural 6k 
educational orgs & mediamakers. Incl. descrip- 
tions of 132 media arts centers in US & 
Canada w/ org. history, mission, budget, collec- 
tions, demographics of audiences 6k artists, 
facilities, publications, etc. Send check payable 
to NAMAC ($25 nonmembers/$ 1 2 NAMAC 
members) to: NAMAC, 1212 Broadway, Ste. 
816, Oakland, CA 94612. 

NATL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANI- 
TIES 27th Annual Report is avail. Contains 
info on Endowment programs 6k complete list- 
ing of endowment grants. Report is free. Send 
requests to: NEH 1992 Annual Report, Rm. 
407, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, 
Washington, DC 20506. 

PROTECTING ARTISTS & THEIR WORK, 

publication of People for the American Way, 
answers questions regarding artist's right as 
well as federal 6k state law. To request a copy, 
call People for the American way; (202)467- 
4999. 

WIDE ANGLE seeks papers for special issue on 
Children 6k Film. Looking for articles that 
address topics such as: theories concerning 
children's spectatorship, issues of spectatorship 
concerning images of children in films, child 6k 
youth performers, films for 6k by children. 
Manuscripts will not be returned. Deadline: 
June 1. Send articles in duplicate w/ abstract 
to: Ruth Bradley, Wide Angle, 378 Lindley Hall, 
School of Film, Ohio University, Athens, OH 
45701; fax: (614) 593-1328. 

Resources • Funds 



58 THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



ARTS MIDWEST, in cooperation w/ the NEA, 
is accepting appls. for visual arts funding. 
$1,000 matching grants avail, to organizations 
through Artworks Fund & $5,000 grants to 
individuals through the AM/NEA Regional 
Visual Artist Fellowships. For info, contact: 
Bobbi Morris (612) 341-0755. 

CHANGE, INC. assists artists of all disciplines 
w/ emergency aid to avoid eviction or cover 
medical expenses, unpaid utility bills, fire dam- 
age or other emergencies. Grants range from 
$100 to $500. Send letter describing financial 
emergency, copies of bills or eviction notice, 
resume, announcements of exhibitions, work 
sample & at least 2 letters of recommendation 
from field. Change, Inc., Box 705, Cooper 
Station, NY, NY 10276; (212) 473-3742. 

CHICAGO RESOURCE CENTER awards 
grants to nonprofits who serve gay & lesbian 
community. For more info, contact: Chicago 
Resource Center, 104 S. Michigan Ave., Ste. 
1220, Chicago, IL 60603; (312) 759-8700. 

CREATIVE SCREENWRITERS GROUP, nat'l 
organization dedicated to advancement of writ- 
ing, is launching free service for everyone inter- 
ested in improving writing skills. CSG will pro- 
vide assistance to anyone interested in joining 
writers' group in his/her community. CSG also 
provides info on how to form new groups. Send 
name, address &. phone w/ description of writ- 
ing interests &. SASE to: Creative Screen- 
writers Group, 518 Ninth St. NE, Ste. 308, 
Washington, DC 20002. 

EXPERIMENTAL TELEVISION CENTER is 

accepting appls for presentation funds — partial 



support to organizations for the rentals of 
video, audio & time-based computer work & 
for artists' fees for screenings. Appls accepted 
at any time. ETC also offers over $50,000 in 
finishing funds to support more than 100 NY 
state media artists. Eligible forms incl. single & 
multiple channel videos, installations, sound 
art & computer-based cinematic work. All gen- 
res, incl. doc, narrative & experimental eligi- 
ble. Applicants must be residents of NY; stu- 
dents are ineligible. Deadline: March 15. For 
appl. & guidelines, contact: Sherry Miller 
Hocking (607) 687-4341. 

ETC ARTISTS IN RESIDENCY PROGRAM is 

accepting appls from artists interested in study- 
ing techniques of video image processing dur- 
ing an intensive 5-day residency. Artists must 
have prior experience in video prod. & must 
incl. resume & project description indicating 
how image processing is integrated in their 
work. For more info, contact: Ralph Hocking 
(607) 687-4341. 

LOUISIANA CENTER FOR CULTURAL 
MEDIA now makes professional camera pack- 
ages & cuts-only editing systems avail, free of 
charge to indivs. who agree to produce arts & 
heritage programming regularly & exclusively 
for the Cultural Cable Channel of New 
Orleans. To qualify, interested parties must be 
members of Cultural Communications 
($35/yr.) & will have to produce minimum of 6 
shows & complete at least 1 program per 
month. For more info, contact: Mark J. Sindler, 
executive director, Cultural Cable Channel 
(504) 529-3366. 



Ill 












'"" Betacam SP field production - 

Component Betacam SP editing 

Digital F/X Paint F/X DL graphics 

AVID Non-Linear editing 

3/<4 cuts editing 

(Viae files to video 

Component HI© transfers 

Betacam SP, 3/4SR HI8, VHS duplication 

J 25' x3Q' stage 



SeKVINC ARTISTS &. INDEPENDENTS SINCE I9«6 






ROBERT FLAHERTY SEMINAR residencies 
avail. Aug. 6-12 for up to 4 Philadelphia-area 
film & video artists & up to 2 media program- 
mers, curators, or critics to attend seminar in 
Aurora, NY. Founded in honor of doc pioneer 
Robert Flaherty, annual, week-long event, in 
40th yr., features intensive round-clock screen- 
ings of new & cutting-edge media spanning all 
genres, styles & content. 100 participants, incl. 
media artists, scholars, critics, curators &. stu- 
dents discuss work w/ artists. Held at Wells 
College on Lake Cayuga in upstate NY. Will 
highlight works by Asian & Asian American 
makers. Guest curators: L. Somi Roy, Erik 
Barnouw & Patricia Zimmermann. Residents 
awarded to artists w/ at least 1 project that has 
been exhibited publically. Applicants must 
reside in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Dela- 
ware, or Montgomery County. Incl. full room 
& board, r/t travel & stipend. Announcements 
made by mail after May 5. Deadline: April 1. 
Guidelines avail, through: David Haas, PIFVA, 
3701 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 
(215) 895-6594 or contact: Sally Berger, Int'l 
Film Seminars, 305 W. 21st St., NY, NY 
10011; (212) 727-7262; fax: 691-9565. 

WRITERS WORKSHOP, nonprofit organiza- 
tion dedicated to discovery & development of 
new screenwriters, is accepting submissions for 
monthly reading by WW Actors Repertory 
Company before a live audience, w/ prominent 
film/TV professionals serving as moderators to 
critique screenplay. Past moderators include 
Oliver Stone & Ray Bradbury. For more info, 
send SASE to: Writers Workshop, Box 69799, 
Los Angeles, CA 90069; (213) 933-9232. 



american 
montage 
Inc. 




avid 

film & video production 

post-production specialists 

film to tape 

quiet midtown stage 

CATERING TO ALL BUDGETS 

voice 751-7784 935-1829 fax 
305 East 47th St., NY, NY 10017 



March 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 59 



Memoranda 



ANNUAL MEETING MEETING & 
BOARD NOMINATIONS 

The annual AIVF membership meeting will be 
held on Friday evening, April 22 at Anthology 
Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue, New York 
City. In addition to submitting advance nomi- 
nations for the board of directors to our office 
in writing, members may make and second 
nominations at the annual meeting. [In the last 
issue, we erroneously wrote that board mem- 
bers will be elected at the membership meeting; 
only nominations occur at that time.] 

AIVF board members are elected to a 3 -year 
term of office; the board gathers four times a 
year in NYC for 2-day meetings (AIVF pays the 
travel costs if you live outside the city) . 

We have an active board; members must be 
prepared to set aside adequate time to fulfill 
board responsibilities, which include: 

* Attendance at all board meetings and par- 
ticipation in conference calls when necessary; 

* Preparation for meetings by reading 
advance materials sent by staff; 

* Active participation in one or more com- 
mittees as determined by the organization's 
needs and as requested by the board chair or 
executive director; fulfillment of commitments 
within agreed-upon deadlines; 

* General support for the executive director 
and staff as needed. 

Board nominations must be made and sec- 
onded by current AIVF members in good 
standing. You may nominate yourself. 

To make a nomination, send or fax us the 
name, address, and telephone numbers of the 
(1) nominee, (2) nominator, and (3) member 
seconding the nomination. We cannot accept 
nominations over the phone. 

We will be sending AIVF members a mailing 
on the annual meeting in late March, with 
information on time and place and procedures 
for submitting work to the open screening pro- 
gram. Please watch your mail for details. 

DISCOUNTED 

DISABILITY 

INSURANCE 

We are pleased to 
offer a new dis- 
counted disability insurance program through 
Mutual of Omaha. Disability insurance can 
mean the difference between security and 
insolvency for independents, whose income 
might be cut off entirely if they are unable to 
work. But not only is it very difficult for a self- 
employed individual to secure this type of 
insurance, it can be very expensive; the prices 
offered by this plan represent a savings of 
approximately 40% over individual plans, so 
this is a significant new benefit that we are very 
happy to be making available to members of 
AIVF. A mailing was sent to AIVF members 
by Mutual of Omaha; if you have detailed ques- 
tions relating to your individual situation or did 
not receive the mailing, please call Doug 
Polifron, the Mutual of Omaha agent handling 
the offering, at (212) 490-7979. (Once the 
plan is in effect, you will be able to purchase it 
from any Mutual of Omaha agent nationwide, 
the same as AIVF's health insurance plan; Mr. 
Polifron is organizing this initial offering.) 




Twenty-five members will have to enroll 
under the initial offering for the plan to go into 
effect; please act now if you have been thinking 
of buying this type of insurance, so that we can 
make the benefit permanently available to 
members. 

ON-LINE UPDATE 

All good things come to those who wait, and at 
press time we are still waiting for final arrange- 
ments for a permanent home for our members 
to network and exchange information on 
America Online. Meanwhile, members are 
enthusiastically using the AIVF bulletin board 
lent to us by Abbate Video, commenting on 
the new technologies focused on in the Janu- 
ary/February issue of Trie Independent. 

If you missed the information in the last 
magazine: once you are on-line, pull down "GO 
TO" from the menu at the top of the screen, 
and select "key word"; at the prompt, type 
abbate, then select the aivf option under topic 
listings. To subscribe to AOL, call (800) 827- 
6364. We hope that by the time you read this, 
there will be a signpost in abbate directing you 
to AIVF's new permanent keyword. 



ARCH EVENTS 



Get-Togethers 



MEET AND GREETS 

These are opportunities for AIVF members to 
meet producers, distributors, funders, program- 
mers, and others, to exchange information in 
an informal atmosphere at the AIVF offices. 
Free; open to AIVF members only; limited to 
30 participants; RSVP essential. 

JAMES YEE 
Executive Director, ITVS 
Tuesday, March 1, 7:00 pm 

Coming in April 

LYNN HOLST 

Vice-President, Program Development, 

American Playhouse 

Thursday, April 28, 6:00 pm 

"MEET YOUR 
(fellow) MAKER" 
A MONTHLY MEMBER 

SALON 

Our December holiday party 
was a smashing success — 300 members and 
friends attended! — and it confirmed our sense 
that members want opportunities to meet and 
shmooze. We are setting up a monthly early- 
evening event in the back room at Telephone 
Bar and Grill, 149 Second Ave. (9th St.), 
where members can get together informally 
once a month from 6:00-8:00 pm. (Drinks are 
half price for the first hour, so come early and 
get happy!) Salons will be the third Tuesday of 
each month, beginning Tuesday, March 15. 
This program is being organized by AIVF mem- 
ber Jonathan Berman, maker of The Shvitz- 
(Make it a regular date: plan ahead for 
Tuesday, April 19!) 





MONTHLY MEMBER 
ORIENTATION 

We are initiating a new program to help new 
and renewing members become familiar with 
the organization's services, meet the member- 
ship program staff, and learn their way around 
the resource library. Our first monthly orienta- 
tion is scheduled for Tuesday, March 22, at 
6:00 pm, at the AIVF offices. RSVP helpful 
but not essential. 



RECEPTION - 
CONFERENCE 

AIVF will be co-spons 
ticipants in "Black C 
Pan-African Film," a 
NYU March 24-30. 
at press time, but w 
ics and scholars fro 
including such invj 
Crouch, Souleym 
Ouedraogo, an 
Hudlin. For mo 
ence and recep 
Reception co-s^ 
the Black Film 



Reception: F 
Location: N 
721 Broadwj 
Price: Free; 






FILM 



eption for par- 
Celebration of 
e to be held at 
ere not finalized 
filmmakers, crit- 
nd the Diaspora, 
ilie Dash, Stanley 
Spike Lee, Idrissa 
gton and Reginald 
tion on the confer- 
YU, (212)998-1713. 
by AIVF, NYU, and 
undation. 

ch 25, 7:30-9:30 pm 
School of the Arts, 




necessary 



Learning Experiences 
WORKING LOW-BUDGET ON HI -8 

Award-winning filmmaker Ellen Spiro (Greet- 
ings from Out Here; Diana's Hair Ego) will offer 
a workshop passing on what she's learned 
working with the medium and the secrets of 
her success. Participants should bring their own 
camcorders, if they have them. This workshop 
needs a minimum of 20 participants; pre-regis- 
tration is essential. 
Co-sponsored with Women Make Movies 

Date: Thursday, March 17, 7:00 pm 
Location: Women Make Movies, 
462 Broadway (Grand Street), ste 500 
Price: $40 AIVF &. WMM members; $50 oth- 
ers; call AIVF to pre-register. 

WORKING, EATING, PLANNING 

FOR THE FUTURE: FINANCIAL 

PLANNING FOR INDEPENDENTS 

Yo-yo income, constant outflow: independents 
are a group in particular need of strategies to 
ensure that the work gets made, the bills get 
paid, and longterm financial security isn't an 
impossible dream. Arline Segal of Smith Bar- 
ney Shearson and Nan Buzard of Working 
Assets are crackerjack financial planners and 
specialists in Socially Responsible Investing; 
they will address planning principles for inde- 
pendents and investment options in SRI. 

Date: Wednesday, March 23, 7 pm 
Location: tba; call office 
Price: $10 members; $15 others 



60 THE INDEPENDENT March 1994 



What if. 



□ Valuable film or tape was 
lost due to theft, fire or 
faulty processing? 

□ Your technical equipment 
broke down in the middle 



of fil 



mmg' 



□ There's an injury or property 
damage on site? 

□ You're sued for film content, 
unauthorized use, or failure 
to obtain clearance? 

□ What if you're not insured? 





INSURANCE BROKERS 



ENTERTAINMENT/MEDIA INSURANCE SPECIALISTS 

Providing short and long-term coverage when you need it to reshoot, repair, and 

protect your products and time. 

CALL FOR A FREE QUOTE TODAY! 

1-800-638-8791 

7411 Old Branch Avenue, P.O. Box 128, Clinton, MD 20735 



WM>f'\\' : y' : :'X< 



BCA'S ARCHIVES ARE AN UNTAPPED SOURCE OF 

RARE, CLASSIC, AND CONTEMPORARY FOOTAGE 

- ORIGINALLY PRODUCED SOLELY 

FOR THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT. 




British 

Crown 

Archives 




(818) 505 8997 

Faz (SIS) 505 3184 



BCA: 3855 Lankershim Blvd. Suite 102 • Universal City, CA 91604 USA 



QUARK VIDEO presents P0STPR0DUCT10N 



itt.VlttlMfttilHMl 




A/BROLL 
3/4, 3/4 SP, 
BETACAMSP 
TO 3/4 SP 




A/BROLL 
3/4, 3/4 SP, 

BETACAMSP 
TO BETACAMSP 



IK sail 9(1 

1 J. BETACAMSP / I I 
VV TO ONE INCH L V 



Starring CHYRON and TOASTER 4000 featuring over 300 FONTS. Including FOUR CHANNELS of DVE, 

DAT, EXTENSIVE SOUND PROCESSING and MANY EXTRAS. NETWORK CREDITED EDITOR and 

GRAPHIC ARTIST Most KNOWLEDGEABLE STAFF in the industry. Clients include NATIONAL BROADCAST 

and CABLE NETWORKS, FORTUNE 400 companiesand hundreds of INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS. 

OUR SECOND DECADE. STANDARDS CONVERSION. PRODUCTION SERVICES. STAGE 



e> 



FAST SERVICE • BROADCAST QUALITY • GREAT PRICES 

LARK MNZ11 
VII 14 



109 M 27th MET 



LI- l/) — 

oo< 

Z <". 

O => 
z 



E Z 
> _ 



a 
o 

0) 

J>> 

§ S 
• ° ~° 
a S 

1 8" 



■£ O 

o- o 

D -g 

2 jO 

*> i 

CN « 

■o Z 



INSIDE: Spain's Valladolid International Film Festival 






•git «•*:'" 





o l,l 74470"801K l " 6 



04 ^^"» 

A publication of the Foundation for Independent Video and Film 





The WPA Film Library Is More Than A Stock Footage 

Source For Historically Significant Moving Images. It's A 

Documentary Record Of Sublime And Outrageous 

lifestyles; a living resource for the preservation of 

Archival Ideas; A Welcome Escape Into A Past That Is 

Filled With Wonder, Ambition, And Romance... 



To get your free copy of our incredible new 150-page Stock Footage 
Reference Guide and our 1993 sample reel, call us toll-free at 

1-800-777-2223 




HISTORIC FOOTAGE 



WORLDWIDE RIGHTS 



The WPA Film Library 



5525 West 159th Street - Oak Forest - Illinois - 60452 - Phone 708.535.1540 - Fax 708.535.1541 




ART 






'*-** 



k 






1 %* 



¥ Av^rtr * fc» •- ■-* ••» -• .- ■- ■- •-■ - f -> "w* if 

^.viiS j*5* \ it y* } ? * * ** * * * 

>^ : q^ ■*# , raw * *{M^ - ■ i 



h i 

. ,1 fi ti ■ B i N | It* 






l . J'' r ' ' * ■ IT' '" 1 ' *n T "~— - »■ ". ,''1' 

iii 





tt-ssji 



I 



4 

I 
.1 



Depend on the name you trust 
for all of your titles. 

CRAWLS ZOOMS SUBTITLES PANS 

DU ART is your all in one film lab, 
whatever your needs may be. 



For more information about titles, please contact Greg Zinn, Tim Spitzer or David Fisher. 

DuArt Film Laboratories, Inc. 245 West 55th Street New York, NY 10019 

Tel: 212 757 4580 Fax: 212 977 7448 





O N T H L \\J 



April 1994 

VOLUME 17, NUMBER 3 

Publisher: Ruby Lerner 

Editor: Patricia Thomson 

Managing Editor: Michele Shapiro 

Editorial Assistant: Sue Murray 

Interns: Mitch Albert, Judith Rumelt 

Contributing Editors: Kathryn Bowser, Barbara Osborn, 

Karen Rosenberg, Catherine Saalfield 

Art Director: Daniel Christmas 

Advertising: Laura D. Davis (212) 473-3400 

National Distribution: Bernhard DeBoer (201) 667- 

9300; Ingram Periodicals (800) 627-6247 

Printed in the USA by Sheridan Press 

The Independent Film & Video Monthly (ISSN 0731- 
5198) is published monthly except February and 
September by the Foundation for Independent Video 
and Film (FIVF), a nonprofit, tax-exempt educational 
foundation dedicated to the promotion of video and 
film. Subscription to the magazine ($45/yr individual; 
$25/yr student; $75/yr library; $100/yr nonprofit orga- 
nization; $150/yr business/industry) is included in 
annual membership dues paid to the Association of 
Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), the national 
trade association of individuals involved in independent 
film and video, 625 Broadway, 9th fl., NY, NY 10012, 
(212) 473-3400; fax: (212) 677-8732; aivf@aol.com. 
Application to mail at Second Class postage rates is 
pending at New York, NY, and additional mailing 
offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The 
Independent, 625 Broadway, 9th fl., NY, NY 10012. 

Publication of The Independent is made possible in 
part with public funds from the New York State Council 
on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, a 
federal agency. 

Publication of any advertisement in The 
Independent does not constitute an endorsement. 
AIVF/FIVF are not responsible for any claims made in 
an ad. 

Letters to 77ie Independent should be addressed to 
the editor. Letters may be edited for length. 

All contents are copyright of the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film, Inc. Reprints require writ- 
ten permission and acknowledgement of the article's 
previous appearance in The Independent. The 
Independent is indexed in the Alternative Press Index. 

© Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. 
1994 

AIVF/FIVF staff members: Ruby Lerner, executive direc- 
tor; Kathryn Bowser, administrative/festival bureau 
directonPamela Calvert, membership/program director; 
Judah Friedlander, membership associate; Susan 
Kennedy, development director; John McNair, informa- 
tion services associate; Martha Wallner, advocacy coor- 
dinator; Arsenio Assin, receptionist; interns: Esther Bell, 
Melissa Scott, Elizabeth Ip, Dierdre Holder. 

AIVF/FIVF legal counsel: Robert I. Freedman, Esq., 
Leavy, Rosensweig & Hyman 

AIVF/FIVF Board of Directors: Joan Braderman, Dee 
Davis, Loni Ding (vice president), Barbara Hammer, 
Ruby Lerner (ex officio), Dai Sil Kim-Gibson, Jim Klein 
(treasurer), Beni Matias, Robb Moss, Robert Richter 
(president), James Schamus*, Norman Wang*, Barton 
Weiss (secretary), Debra Zimmerman (chair). 
* FIVF Board of Directors only 



2 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 994 



In This Issue 



23 



12 



44 



50 
52 
54 
58 
64 



Features P mMm 

Breaking Through: Asian American Media Hits Its Stride by Berenice r E ynau| 
Nil, NREN, and the Internet: Where the Feds Fit in by gar* o larson 
Hot Rods or Road Kill on the Information Superhighway? 9 Views from the Field 

Media News WTjr 

The Phoenix Rises: a^ 'jJ| 

Filming in New York City on Mie Upswing by Robert v. wolf 

Life after GATT by renfreu NEKf %* 

Videomakers Find Homes for Programs on Leased Access Nets by b. j sigesmund 

PaCifiC Film SCam? by Henry Rosenthal 

Ffcd Ex Blocks Films From Entering Japan B Barbara scharres 

Talking Heads 

Francois Girard, writer/director: ^1^, 

Thirty-Two Short Films about Gienn Gould by p a t r IcIa Thomson 

Henry S. Rosenthal, No-budget producer rv d av .d barker jjJ 

Beryl Korot, video artist: The Cave y Patricia Thomson 

Hector Galan, TV documentarian: iChicano! BY r a ^ tisteban 

Christopher Leo Daniels & K. Brent Hill, director & producer: Victor BY yvonne J 

Roberto Arevalo, media educator: The Mirror Project by ja SON oregoricm 

In FocufB^gk^lM^^^^^ wE? 1 B^ 
Life in the Nonlinear Lane: AFI's Digital Independence Workshop 

by K.D. Davis,. Barton Weiss, and Barbara Hammer wk 

Field Reports 

Sleepless in Espana: The Valladolid International Film Festival by mchee 

Legal Briefs 

The Money Lenders: Loans vs. Limited Partnerships by Stephen m. Goldstein 

In and Out of Production by mitch albert ^|- -£. 

I" EST I V A L S by Kathryn Bowser 



Classifieds 

Notice^ frt&lyf)/][ilB 

MEMORANDA by Pamela Calvert 



COWER: Panl Rwan returns to the Cholon temple in Vietnam to pay homage 
to his deceased father in Anatomy of a Springroll, an ITVS-funded project 
that will receive its broadcast premiere on PBS on April 25. In this issue, 
critic Berenice Reynaud looks at this and other works by Asian Americans, 
from We Joy Luck Club to Totally F***ed Up, that have made their way 
Into the mainstream in recent years. 
Photo: Arnokl Iger, courtesy filmmakers 



THIS PAGE: David Henry Hwang's Broadway hit M. Butterfly made its way 
onto the stiver screen in 1993, with John Lone playing the diva/spy. 

Courtesy Warner Bros. 




April 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 3 



GIVE 



YOUR BEST SHOT! 



***** 



?%' 







ENTER THE 1 0TH ANNUAL 

VISIONS OF O.S. VIDEO CONTEST-WIN VALUABLE SONY PRIZES! 

For ten years, VISIONS OF U.S. has discovered a wealth of new creative talent in the premiere video contest of oor time. This year it's your turn to create an original video 
production and have your work judged by video professionals - with the chance to win valuable Sony prizes. The contest, sponsored by Sony and administered by the 
American Film Institute, is an invitation to express your vision - on 8mm, VHS or Beta. Just choose a category - fiction, non-fiction, music video or experimental -and 
start shooting. Submit your work by June 15, 1994 and a distinguished panel of judges comprised of Francis Ford Coppola, LeVar Burton, Kathleen Kennedy, Tim Allen, 
Bob Saget, Penelope Spheeris, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Sean Astin will begin the judging process. You'll be in competition for an exciting selection of Sony video products, 
and everyone who enters will receive a bonus blank videocassette. To find out more, call (213) 856-7787. Or write Visions of U.S., P.O. Box 200, Hollywood, California 90078. 



r«i 



VISIONS l^^t 



The American Film Institute 



© 1 994 Sony [lectiooics Inc. Reproduction in whnle or pan without written oermission is prohibited All tights teserved. 



DIT 




Film shoots in New York City (like Jim Jarmusch's Night on Earth, pictured) are on the increase 
for the first time in a decade, according to a new report from the Mayor's Film Office. 

Courtesy Fine Line Features 



New York City is in again — with filmmakers, 
at least. After 10 years in which the city lost 
much of its celluloid luster — and produc- 
tions — to other regions, capped off in 1990 
and 1991 with a six-month boycott by the 
major film studios, production in the city is 
on the rise. In the first 10 months of 1993, the 
number of permits issued for feature film pro- 
duction by the Mayor's Office of Film, 
Theater, and Broadcasting rose 30 percent 
from 1992. Even back in 1992, before things 
started to pick up, the overall economic 
impact of the city's film biz reached Jurassic 
proportions: $3 billion was poured directly or 
indirectly into the economy. 

These figures were included in a report 
released last December by the Mayor's Film 
Office. The report, "Beyond the Glitz: Lights, 
Cameras, Jobs," makes the case that film and 
video productions — from independents to 
feature films to commercials — are crucial to 
the city's economic well-being, and argues 
that the city should actively seek to strength- 
en its competitive edge. 

The report makes several recommenda- 



tions that, if adopted, could prove useful to 
independent makers. But the recommenda- 
tions were formulated under the administra- 
tion of Mayor David Dinkins and Film Office 
commissioner Richard Brick, who resigned 
January 21 when incoming mayor Rudolph 
Giuliani didn't bother to contact him more 
than a week into the new administration. 
Since neither Giuliani nor his deputy mayor 
for finance and economic development, John 
Dyson, have laid out their visions yet for 
dealing with the city's film and television 
industries, it remains to be seen whether or 
not the mayor's camp will act on the recom- 
mendations. 

The report states that in recent years, the 
city has lost business to Canada, Texas, 
Florida, and elsewhere. These regions, with 
lower production costs, tax rebates, low-cost 
financing, and government investment in 
studio facilities, are particularly appealing to 
independents with major visions and minor 
budgets. So, naturally, economic planners 
think the city should fight back with similar 
incentives. These recommendations include: 



Media Mews 



• Expand financing programs and make 
them more accessible to those who meet a 
minimum percentage standard of filming or 
production spending in the city. 

• Facilitate cooperation between labor 
unions and producers to standardize union 
contracts for low-budget productions. 

• In collaboration with the city's Eco- 
nomic Policy and Marketing Group, estab- 
lish a liaison with New York University's 
Center for Advanced Technology, which 
can offer, among other things, laboratory 
space for experimentation in digital tech- 
nologies. 

• Encourage the development of a pri- 
vately run production office center in 
Manhattan that will offer low-cost office 
space to producers. 

"The office center would decidedly be 
below market rents for office space," 
Commissioner Brick explained shortly before 
his resignation. And by facilitating negotia- 
tions with labor unions, the Film Office 
could help eliminate the hassles that scare 
off many independent producers. 
"Independents tend to be much less prac- 
ticed in working with unions, and it is a 
union town," Brick said. 

Despite the uncertainty of the recommen- 
dations' future under the Giuliani adminis- 
tration, independents are hopeful that steps 
will be taken to facilitate filming in the city. 
"New York has to aggressively pursue the 
business," said Mike Bencivenga, a Queens- 
based filmmaker who in 1991 nixed plans to 
make his first feature film, Losers in Love, in 
New York because of labor trouble and cost 
constraints. "The next film I'm doing is set in 
Hoboken, New Jersey, and Manhattan," he 
told The Independent. "In raising money, peo- 
ple are saying, 'You're not really going to 
shoot in New York?' They're concerned it 
will balloon the budget. But I'm born and 
raised here, and I believe in bringing the 
business back." 

Robert V. Wolf 

Robert V. Wolf is a writer living on Manhattan's Upper 

West Side. 



Life after GATT 



Just days before last December's deadline for 
the signing of the General Agreement on 
Tariffs and Trade (GATT) , an impasse near- 
ly scuttled seven years of negotiations 
involving 117 countries. On one side were 
the Europeans led by France (which taxes 
non-European films to help subsidize its film 
industry), insisting that movies are cultural 
property, aka "art," and therefore must be 
exempt from the negotiations. In opposition, 
the United States, for whom movies are busi- 
ness and cultural property is an oxymoron, 
wanted movies under GATT, which, in the 
interest of free trade, would reduce the tar- 
iffs and quotas imposed by the Europeans. 



April 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 5 



APRIL 21-23, 1994 



Meadowlands Convention Center 
Secaucus, New Jersey 

/wsf f/rree m/Aes from /Veiv KorAr City 

Pre-register for the 

Videomaker Expo by 

April 1, 1994 and 

get into the Expo 

roper A $25 

race value 

After April 1,1994 

a $25 registration 

fee will apply 




For Discounted Show Travel 

Arrangements Call: 

SS ENTERPRISE TRAVEL at 

1-800-892-3866 



Where 
Technology] 

Meets 
Creativity 



□ Please register me for the Videomaker Expo. 
Register prior to April 1, 1994, and get into the Expo for FREE. (A $25 value) 

Name Day Phone 

Company 

Address 



Evening Phone 



Fax# 



City. 



State 



_Zip_ 



I would like to know more about: 
□ Seminars □ Exhibiting □ Exposition 

Clip coupon and mail to: Videomaker Expo, P.O. Box 4591, Chico, CA 95927 • FAX (916) 891-8443 indapr ' 



Join us for three days of 
unforgettable insight into the 
growing and changing video 
industry. Network with your 
peers at the only show dedicated 
especially to video buyers and 
producers. 

You'll experience the latest 
technology, learn new video 
techniques and discover how to 
increase the success of your 
business — both on the floor of 
the expo itself and at our 
informative seminar sessions. 

Whether a hobbyist, video 
enthusiast, or a seasoned 
professional — Videomaker Expo 
is for you. 

Don't miss this opportunity to 
meet the video industry leaders 
face to face. Here are just a few 
who's products will be featured 
at the Expo: 



Bogen 

Canon 

Comprehensive Video 

Creative Video Images 

Go Video 

Gold Disk 

JVC 

JVC Professional 



Nady Systems 

Panasonic Broadcast 

ParkerVlsion 

Rab-Byte 

Slik Tripods 

Sunpak-Tocad 

...and many more! 



PIUS... Attend The 1993 
Videomaker Best Products of 

the Year Awards Gala, where 
well honor video's most 
innovative companies for their 
visionary new products. 

Videomaker Expo 
Seminars 

Each seminar track is designed 
to fit your needs no matter 
what your level of expertise. 

Video Production Fundamentals 
Video Business Strategies 
Retailing 



6 THE INDEPENDENT April 1994 




While films were excluded from 6WT at the 11th hour, US-European coproductions are ofpt^ 
exempt from certain taxes and tariffs anyway. Hal Hartley's upcbtpigfilrn, Amateur, was' 5 
financed entirely by the French' and stars Isabelle Huppert. "So is it a French movie or is JL 
American?," asks producer Ted Hope. 



budget movies 
shown in 

Europe? 

In the mean- 
time, coproduc- 
tions between 
the U.S. and 
Europe not 
only circum- 
vent the issue 
of taxes and 
tariffs, they 
can provide 
financing 
and distrib- 




Backed 
by Britain, Germany, 
and Spain, France not only succeeded 
in having the hotly contested audiovisual 
category (which included film, television 
programming, and recorded music) dropped 
from the accord, it also initiated a movement 
to extend its tax-for-subsidy system to other 
countries. 

Paying fewer subsidies and scrapping quo- 
tas that limit the amount of American prod- 
uct on European TV are only a few of the 
topics that arose during months of often- 
heated debates between the European Com- 
mission and Motion Picture Association of 
America president Jack Valenti, who repre- 
sented American majors throughout the 
talks. In the end, however, debates over the 
treaty's content did little other than 
strengthen Europe's love-hate relationship 
with Hollywood. 

The bottom line is that Europeans are 
miffed by how well American blockbusters 
perform on their turf. Hollywood movies 
account for 80 percent of theatrical releases 
in Europe, compared to the two percent 
niche that foreign films secure in the 
American market. Taxing films from the 
U.S. to subsidize European production may 
seem a bit extreme, but as one proponent of 
independent cinema pointed out in a recent 
op-ed piece that ran in the New York Times, 
the idea may not be all bad. 

In "Use Junk To Bankroll Art," which 
appeared in the Times on January 17, 1994, 
Dan Talbot, president of New Yorker Films, 
suggests translating the French system into a 
10 percent tax on movie admissions in the 
U.S. Talbot proposes the money go into a 
fund to finance independent low- and medi- 
um-budget films. As outlined in the article, 
the plan deserves serious attention, although 
it fails to note that the big multiplex cinemas 
have already borrowed something from 
abroad: wide-screen commercial advertising. 
Why not add a 10 percent surtax on rev- 
enues garnered by theaters that subject tick- 
et buyers to large-screen advertisements? 
Expanding this further, would it not prove 
beneficial for American independents and 
the European film community to work 
together for 1) wider distribution throughout 
the U.S. and 2) reduced taxes, tariffs, and 
quotas on independently produced, low- 



ution, too. 
"The Euro- 
peans opened the door [for coproduction 
opportunities], but the [American] studios 
didn't want to get involved, because of all 
the bureaucratic inefficiency," says indepen- 
dent producer Robert Manning, founder of 
the New York Film Expo. "They didn't like 
putting up millions of dollars and being told 
they had to have a foreign director or what- 
ever." Manning continues: "The Canadians 
are far more open, probably because they 
don't put that kind of money at stake on a 
single picture. Coproduction works well 
where moderate amounts of money are 
involved, so it should work very well for 
independents in the U.S." 

In recent years, many American indepen- 
dents have taken advantage of foreign 
coproduction opportunities, and still others 
have had entire productions funded by over- 
seas investors. Ted Hope, producer of Hal 
Hartley's films, asserts that Hartley is better 
known and his films more successful in 
Europe than in the U.S. Hartley's upcoming 
film, Amateur, was financed entirely by the 
French and stars Isabelle Huppert. "So is it a 
French movie or is it American?" Hope asks 
with a laugh. "The tradition of independent 
filmmaking is more European than Amer- 
ican. Support from the European film com- 
munity, in the form of financing and distrib- 
ution, could pull the independents togeth- 
er," he adds. 

Renfreu Neff 

Renfreu Neff covers film and cultural events in the U.S. 

and in Europe. 

VIDEOMAKERS 

FIND HOMES FOR PROGRAMS 

ON LEASED ACCESS NETS 

Independent videomakers take note: As 
mandated in the 1992 Cable Act, cable 
operators across the country now are 
required to set aside up to 15 percent of their 
air time for programs submitted from outside 
producers. As a result, groups of indepen- 
dent videomakers are joining networks — 
called "leased access networks" — that buy 
bulk air time in markets across the country. 
Joining a leased access network has many 
benefits, including affordability, access to 
Nielsen ratings, and an opportunity to reap a 



portion of advertising revenues if commer- 
cials are aired during the broadcast. 

Videomaker magazine is the latest to start 
such a network, which it hopes to have in 
20-million homes in the U.S.'s top 20 mar- 
kets by this month. "It's a massive undertak- 
ing," says Videomaker founder Matt York, 
whose network will aim to showcase a vari- 
ety of independent videomakers. 

Compared to the handful of other current 
and planned leased access networks such as 
ValueVision (focused on home shopping) 
and the SUR Corporation (delivering South 
American sports and news), Videomaker's 
network will be broad in scope. A 30-minute 
billiards segment could lead into a half-hour 
rock-climbing demonstration or an experi- 
mental work about women of color. "This is 
not a network with an identity," York says. 
"All we are is a conduit, a delivery company. 
We're gonna coach people along the way, 
but ultimately they're in business for them- 
selves." 

For independent videomakers, joining a 
leased access network could mean great 
business. For one, it is affordable (running a 
30-minute segment on Videomakers network 
will cost approximately $650 for every mil- 
lion households it reaches). Secondly, leased 
access networks receive Nielsen ratings, 
which are impossible to obtain without a 
viewing audience of at least 20 million 
households. Third — and for some most 
important — if an independent producer 
chooses to insert commercials into the seg- 
ment, he or she can solicit advertising spots 
without having to share the profits with the 
leased access network or cable operator, 
according to York. He sees this possibility for 
large revenue as an advantage for indepen- 
dents. "If there's a decent market for billiard 
players, rather than a network exploit that 
advertising niche, the independent producer 
gets to reap the benefits of that lucrative 
market," York says. 

However, perhaps due to this potential for 
profit, leased access networks have not 
found it easy to buy air time since last 
September's mandate was imposed. "The 
cable companies like to stonewall you," says 
John Grosfeld, a circulation assistant at 
Videomaker. "Sometimes they're really help- 
ful getting stuff on, but a lot of the big cable 
operators are trying to fight it." 

ValueVision's chief financial officer, 
Mark Payne, says that even though his home 
shopping network intends to operate as a 
leased access network, the rates he has been 
quoted by cable operators are too high. 
"From a practical standpoint," he says, 
"we're not getting any use out of being a 
leased access network." ValueVisions's pro- 
gramming has been running on unaffiliated 
month-to-month agreements with cable 
companies like MSO and Time Warner, 
while it awaits new and lower rate regula- 
tions to be determined by the FCC in com- 
ing months. 

Some independent videomakers have 
found cable operators uncooperative in 
other respects. Videomaker has unearthed 



April 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 7 



M 



9Jg 
w2 



Og 



ill 

h- 

< 



oc ^ 



•In this intensive three day film course students will write, 
direct and edit a short film. Top Instructors will guide you 
through every aspect of film production along with 
appearances by special industry guest speakers. 

• COURSES IN: 
SCRIPTING FORMING A COMPANY 
BUDGETING CASTING 
FINANCING SPECIAL MAKEUP EFFECTS 
SHOOTING PRODUCTION CONTRACTS 

• This course will enable you to produce your own feature or 
short film with little money to start! 

• SEND CHECK OR MONEY ORDER TO: 
RKA CINEMA CREATIONS *ONLY $249.00 
250 WEST 57TH STREET MAY 5, 6, 7, 1994 

SUITE 1527-129 "REGISTER NOW, SEATING IS LIMITED** 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10107 

(212)465-2698 




3onjour! Monsieur Thomas Edison at your service. 

Death has not slowed me down. I've recently discovered 

that Hots Shots Cool Cuts has the most fantastique 

International location footage. From Tokyo to Timbuktu 

over 100 hrs. of landmarks, aerials, cityscapes, & culture. 

Around zee world, they've got it all. I heartily recommend 

Hot Shots Cool Cuts for all your international footage needs. 

Vive la stock cinematize internationale!!! 



INTERNATIONAL 
CONTEMPORARY 
ARCHIVAL 

d . ill A. L i I .1 1 



OT SHOTS 

PHONE: (212)799-9100 
FAX: (212) 799-9258 

The stock footage company whose stock footage doesn't look like stock footage 



tactics used by cable operators that include 
refusal to quote rates, lengthy applications, 
non-refundable deposits, phone evasion, and 
lies about available space, says Grosfeld. 

Videomaker has since created the Leased 
Access Report, a newsletter aimed to help 
fight for the right to get independent video 
works on the air. The monthly report lists 
addresses of leased access networks that are 
soliciting videotapes and also provides direc- 
tion on complaining to the FCC about cable 
operators who are not abiding by the Cable 
Act's regulations. 

Independent TV producers interested in 
Videorruzlcer's leased access network can send 
their videotapes to John Grosfeld at Box 
4591, Chico, CA 95926, or call (916) 891- 
84 1 for rates and an information kit. 

B. J. SlGESMUND 

B.J. Sigesmund is a freelance film and video writer. 



PACIFIC 
FILM SCAM? 



In recent months, many members of the San 
Francisco-based Film Arts Foundation 
(FAF) and members of the Association for 
Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) 
were mailed a blue and white form announc- 
ing a call for entries for the Pacific Film 
Festival in San Francisco. The form lists 158 
separate categories, including film, video, 
multimedia, and screenwriting. Entry fees 
range from a low of $45 (for a script) to a 
high of $147 (for a film or video over 60 min- 
utes). The dates of the festival are listed as 
November 30 through December 4, 1994. 
At first glance, the mailer appears to be a 
rather generic festival form, but a closer 
examination reveals some irregularities that 
may cause makers to think twice before sub- 
mitting work. 

Important information is omitted from the 
document, including a contact person (festi- 
val director or others); judge and jury proce- 
dure; insurance for applicants' materials; 
venues for screenings during festival dates; 
and any phone or fax numbers. The address 
given for the festival is a private mail drop on 
Cole Street in San Francisco. The form 
instructed that checks be made payable to 
the Pacific Film Festival and, as was later 
learned by Trie Independent, a bank account 
existed into which such checks could be 
deposited or cashed. A search in the 
Recorder's Office at City Hall revealed that 
a business name had been applied for in 
December 1993 by an individual named Fred 
Frank of 1280 Lombard Street, #106, San 
Francisco, whose phone number is (415) 
921-0822. 

Numerous attempts to reach Frank did 
eventually prove fruitful. When asked who 
was supporting the festival, he claimed the 



8 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 994 



AlVf 



12 REASONS TO 

JOIN AIVF 

TODAY 

1. The Independent 

2. Festival Bureau Services 

3. Information Services 

4. Networking 

5. Advocacy 

6. Discounted Books 

7. Access to Insurance 

8. Professional Service 

Discounts 
9. Seminars 
10. Distribution Info 
11. Members' Tape Library 
12. Other Member Privi- 
leges 



WSSBSm 

i- "■'■'•■ - 

v ■■■■■■'■:■.-.. 
■Bottom??*? 







111 ^HRkI 

■ ■■' ■....■■■'■■■■■.,■■ ^ 

•■:■.■,■■■.•...-■•,...■. 

'■■-•■■•'''. 

..'.■■■•■■'-■ 

■■■'.■./-■.■.'■■?'■"■■: 



33fi 

HbKL_ 

GMB 



'■■■•■■■»-..■ 

■■"'■■■.•■■:■■ 
• ''■■■'■•■.■■.-■ 



.'''-■■■■'■' 

•--■■-•,..•..- 

■"'■ ; : ' : ' ; ■'.'■■■ ^ ■ 

■-'■'■■■''■■'■■.■■ 

■■ ^ ,■■■■■■.-• ■■ 

^ ' ^.-v ■"'■■■■■■ : 



■.■■■•■ 



HSl 



■' ; -'. ■■.■.■■■. 

ill 

Wm&Bft 



enterprise was being financed by two Asian 
film organizations, which he declined to 
name. When asked about the festival venue, 
Frank said he had a fear about the quality of 
the entries, and therefore was not makings 
commitment as to where or how the films 
would be exhibited. He proposed Fort 
Mason as a possible venue, but stated that he 
could always rent a high school gymnasium 
somewhere to fulfill his obligations. 
Although Frank's flyer described no prizes 
for winners, cash or otherwise, he indicated 
he was in favor of "creative prizes," an exam- 
ple of which he described as introducing 
winners to Hollywood agents or producers. 
As to who would insure the works submitted 
to the festival, Frank said he thought the 
works were covered by his personal Aetna 
policy. 

During the first of two conversations, 
Frank also said he was in the process of 
applying for nonprofit status, but that a 
board of directors was already in place. He, 
however, declined to name any, but said 
there were two local board members, his 
wife, Jacqueline, and a lawyer named Chris 
Hunt. When contacted, Hunt said he was a 
friend of Fred Frank and that he had attend- 
ed law school, but had not yet been admitted 
to the state Bar. He added that he was 
unaware of ever having been named to the 
Pacific Film Festival's board of directors. 

Since the discussions with Frank made 
clear that the festival has no established 
judging criteria, no venue for exhibition, no 
known structure or board, no acknowledged 
source of financial support, and no provi- 
sions for the proper care or return of entries, 
makers who have considered submitting 
materials may want to think again. 

Henry S. Rosenthal 

Henry S. Rosenthal is a producer living in San 
Francisco. 

FEDEX 
BLOCKS FILMS 
FROM ENTERING 
JAPAN 

A recent incident in which two 3/4" video- 
tapes were reportedly seized by Japanese cus- 
toms yielded not so much insight into 
Japan's notoriously stringent censorship laws 
as some surprising information about the 
practices of a well-known airfreight carrier. 
In December, the videos Token of Love, by 
Chicago-based filmmaker H.D. Motyl, and 
To Ride a Cow, by West Coast filmmaker 
Quentin Lee, were en route to the Tokyo 
Lesbian and Gay Film Festival when Motyl 
was informed by Frameline in San Francisco, 
curator of the program in which his film was 
to appear, that the film would be barred from 
entry due to a brief, non-erotic sequence in 
which one of the film's two male characters 



Ray Benjamin Video 



29 West 15th Street 
New York, NY 10011 
21 2-242-4820 

Post Production Services 

On-Line / Off -Line 
Hi8-3/4"SP & 3/4"SP-3/4"SP 

8 tracks of audio for video 

Titles - Graphics - Digital FX 

Toaster 4000 w/ Amilink Controller 

Window Dubs 

Hi8 - 3/4"SP - 3/4" 
SVHS - VHS 

Production Services 

Hi8 acquisition 
Studio on premises 

Reasonable Rates 

Clients include: Ad Agencies, Major 

Corporations, Documentary and 

Independent Producers 

12 years experience. 
Patience and guidance are free. 



the 40th annual 
ROBERT FLAHERTY 
SEM IN AR 

■•. A- retreat far people .working in 
all aspects of video and film 
, : '\i> : \'.- August 6^12 1994 
; at. Weils College in upstate New York 

REGISTER NOW 

An exciting ' week of screenings • ; 
". and ;,discussions open to interested 
participants. 

independent curator L.Somi Roy 
will present a program juxtaposing 
the work of Asian media artists in. 
Western states alongside their peers- 
in Asia. . '' 

*Filrn historians Erik Barnouw and 
Patricia R. Zimmermann will 
commemorate the Seminar's 40th 
Anniversary : w.ith .a -..selection of 
films/videos which have challenged 
and expanded independent . 
documentary forms. ' . .. 

For Registration Information Contact 

—Sally Berger,. Executive Director . 

-.-.,' International Film Seminars 

v.- ' : "305 ''We"st'2'ls't Street, 
■'• 'New York, NY 10011, ■ ■ • . . 

phone (212) 72)' 7262 '.-.•- " 
fax (212j-691'9'565 ' ' ' 





Mac Video Post Production 

Premier Non-Linear Editing 

Director Programming 

Photoshop Graphics 

CoSA After Effects 

Hi-8 Productions 

3D Animation 

Interactive CD-ROM 

Design 
Programming 

Training 

All of the above and more... 



Renaissance Productions 575-6100 

2 9 West 3 8 t h St r e e t , 3 r d Floo r 



April 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 9 



rhe Independent 



elevision Service 



congratulates. , 



lCaLETv'iY aWaBI, NOiilNI 



i 







rfllJKER, SUNLaKCE SPECIaL 



^, JURY aWaPl- 
I' or Technical Excellence 




J 






Coming Out Under Fire 



mmammMmmsssxsmm 




IKEEPEKLENT TELEVISION SERVICE 
|190 Tilth Street ]iaat, Suite ^00| 
ot. Paul, "ikiinneLiota 55101: 
phone: 61^/^5-9035 

iax: 61ii/x^5-910^BI 

e-mail: ITVS@A0L.C0.ii 



^^sr-ii^akm^S^teu^n^wnf ftmvint&Qi*,. 



steps out of a shower and is filmed in the 
nude. With a certain sense of pride, Motyl 
issued a press release bearing the headline 
"Banned in Japan!" In a phone interview, he 
speculated that customs officials may have 
taken a more careful look than usual at work 
bound for the lesbian and gay fest. 

However, Mark Finch of Frameline takes 
a more resigned attitude toward Japan's 
strictly enforced policy against pubic hair 
and genitalia on the screen. Despite the 
sense in the West that Japan is easing up on 



and agreed to undocumented destruction. 

Upon discussing the incident with person- 
nel at the Tokyo Lesbian and Gay Film 
Festival, Finch discovered that Japanese cus- 
toms agents probably had never seen the 
tapes. Festival program coordinator John 
Storey told Finch that the Japanese govern- 
ment, to ease its workload, has had a long- 
standing practice of hiring Federal Express to 
perform customs inspection on its behalf. 

Finch is less perturbed about what hap- 
pened than the way it happened. He com- 




Quentin Lee's To Ride a Cow never made it to the Tokyo Lesbian and Gay Film Festival because it showed pubic hair. To the 
filmmaker's surprise, it was Fed Ex that was enforcing the law. Courtesy filmmaker 



nudity and is more open to films with homo- 
sexual themes, heralded by the release of 
such gay-themed Japanese films as Okoge 
and Twinkle, Finch points out that there has 
been no official change of policy, and the fes- 
tival cannot legally exhibit work with even a 
glimpse of pubic hair. Even the combined 
power of Disney and Miramax could not 
bring about an uncensored exhibition of The 
Crying Game's pivotal scene last fall, 
although a hot nationwide debate resulted. 

The real news, according to Finch, is the 
manner in which the two tapes were pre- 
vented from entering the country. When 
Finch was informed by his shipper, Federal 
Express, that nudity in Token of Love and To 
Ride a Cow violated Japanese laws, he 
learned that the return shipping cost for the 
two tapes would be $200. Exploring alterna- 
tives, Finch was told that Federal Express 
would destroy the tapes at no charge. Finch 
asked the carrier to issue a certificate of 
destruction and was further informed that 
there would be a significant charge for the 
service, at which point he threw in the towel 



ments: "It's one thing when customs officials 
enforce their own local laws, and another 
when your shipper not only transports the 
films, but inspects them, enforces the laws, 
and ultimately destroys the work as well. 
Filmmakers may want to think about that." 

Barbara Scharres 

Barbara Scharres is director of the Film Center at the 
School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a freelance 



ERRATA 



The interactive production Sex Gefs Serious, 
discussed in "Intimate Interactivity" [Jan/Feb. 
1994], was miscredited. It was produced by 
Jubliee Arts for the Sandwell Health Authority 
in Birmingham, England. 

In the March issue, the captions on p. 44 
and 45 were flipped. The photo on p. 30 was 
from The Kiss, starring and directed by Philip 
Kan Gotanda, courtesy NAATA. 



10 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 994 




<6 



"SIS' 



y 'o 



for \ 



^ with Dov S-S Simens 



ii 



HFI. . . the intelligent alternative 
to 4-year film schools!" 

□ UCLA = 4-years, cost $65,000 & get theory 

□ USC = 4-years, cost $80,000 & get theory 
n NYU = 4-years, cost $85,000 & get theory 
3 HFI = 2-DAYS, ONLY $279 & GET FACTS 



NY/MANHATTAN (June 18-19) 

LA/HOLLYWOOD (April 23-24, June 25-26) 

Philadelphia (April 9-10,) Dallas (April 16-17), Seattle (Apr 30-May 1), Chicago (May 

7-8), Boston (May 14-15), Phoenix (May 21-22), Washington D.C. (June 4-5) 



Only $279. Accredited! Guaranteed! 

Checks and major credit cards accepted! 
Courses sell out. 

HFI, Box 481252, Los Angeles, CA 90048 



Dov S-S Simens ' 
HOLLYWOOD 



1 -800-366-3456 



■LUEJ 

INSTITUTE 



INDEPENDENTS 




DISTRIBUTING 

OUR FILMS 

OUR WAY 

NEW DAY FILMS 
(212) 967-6899 

A distribution cooperative 

seeking new members 

with social-issue 

documentaries for 

nontheatrical distribution 

544 W. 27th St. #7, NYC, NY 10001 



BCA'S ARCHIVES ARE AN UNTAPPED SOURCE OF 

RARE, CLASSIC, AND CONTEMPORARY FOOTAGE 

- ORIGINALLY PRODUCED SOLELY 

FOR THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT. 



' m 




"Is (2 


* 1 <~-> \ 




- "v r , C ; 
> \ jrnr r >| r > a 


W(%, 




British 

Crown 

Archives 




T< *AV 


\?) \ C 


' / *-' •* ^ --' — -j — 


BCA: 


3855 Lankershim Blvd. 


Suite 102 • 


Universal City, 


CA 91604 USA 



April 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 11 



Talking Heads 



Thirty-two Short Rims about Glenn Gould 



francois girard 

WRITER/DIRECTOR 

b y P a t r i c i a Thomson 

In the distance, where 
the chill grey sky touches 
f the barren tundra, a soli- 
r tary figure strides towards 
' the camera. From beneath 
the whistling 
wind the 

sound of a 
piano emerges. It's 
playing the gentle aria with 
which J.S. Bach begins his monumental 
Goldberg Variations. To pianists, the record- 
ing is instantly recognizable: it's Glenn 
Gould's dazzling 1955 recording for CBS, the 
one that catapulted the Canadian pianist 
into the international arena and launched 
his career as one of this century's most bril- 
liant, eccentric, reclusive, and worshipped 
musicians. 

To French-Canadian Francois Girard, 
director of Thirty- two Short Films about Glenn 
Gould, Bach's theme-and-variation structure 
seemed the perfect approach for a film about 
Gould. "You don't want to put a complex 
mind into a box. The idea of fragmenting the 
subject into many different cells came from 
this, and the number 32 came from the 
Goldberg Variations," explains Girard, 31, 
sipping coffee early one morning at the 
Sundance Film Festival, where this film, his 
second feature, played in the Premiere sec- 
tion. "My biggest fear was being reductive," 
he continues. "With the mosaic structure, 
you place things at the limits of his genius 
and show the range without trying to con- 
tain the whole thing." 

Thirty-two Short Films about Glenn Gould 
opens in New York and Los Angeles in 
April, timed to coincide with a peculiar 
anniversary. Thirty years ago this month, 
Gould abruptly retired from the concert 
stage at age 32. From then until his untime- 
ly death at age 50, he never again performed 
in public, but, from within the hermetic con- 
fines of the recording studio, grew into a liv- 
ing legend. 

Thirty-two Short Films about Glenn Gould 
has led something of a charmed life since its 
premiere at the 1993 Venice film festival. 
Shown last fall at the international film fes- 
tival in Toronto — Gould's home town — it 
received critical raves and offers from four 
distributors (US rights were snatched up by 
Samuel Goldwyn) . The film then went on to 
the Montreal Film Festival, more raves, a 
Canadian theatrical release, solid audiences, 



and four Genie Awards, Canada's Academy- 
equivalent. "That's the perfect build-up," 
Girard beams. 

Toronto was the true test. "I thought we'd 
be nailed to the wall by his fans, who are so 
protective" says Girard, who has received 
numerous letters from Gould "experts" con- 
testing and clarifying details in the film. 
"There are Glenn Gould societies all over 
the world. These people look at this film 
with a magnifying glass and try to find the 
mistakes." To his relief, "Mostly, the fans 
were pleased." 

Girard, who produced video art and music 
videos earlier in his career, set up some inter- 
esting challenges for himself with this $1.4 
million feature. Unlike most documentary 
bio-pix, there's not one photo or film clip of 
the artist. Instead, Gould is played by- 
Canadian stage actor Colm Feore. Second, 
contrary to convention in dramatic films 
about musicians, Feore never once sits at a 
piano, let alone tries to imitate Gould's idio- 
syncratic, hunched posture. Third, there are 
virtually no cuts or fades in the music; the 
movements are played in their entirety. "The 
film fits the music, not vice versa. We 




adjusted the text, the shooting, the editing, 
whatever, to fit the structure of the music," 
says Girard. 

Part of the pleasure of watching Thirty- 
two Short Films is Girard's endless inventive- 
ness in presenting the music. It's rarely just 
backdrop. The music is either integral to the 
narrative (as in a charming scene set in a 
Hamburg hotel, where Gould encourages his 
chambermaid to listen for a moment to his 
recording of a Beethoven sonata — one of 
several vignettes showing Gould's affection 



for "regular" folks) ; or it's there for it's own 
sake (as in the next scene, in which a brief, 
thundering Beethoven variation is visualized 
through an optical sound print) ; or it sets the 
scene's tone perfectly (like the wild 
Schoenberg gigue that accompanies Gould's 
diary of pill-popping and blood pressure 
readings, set against actual X-ray films of a 
skeletal figure at the piano). 

"Some ideas were right at the start, and 
some kept changing," says Girard. One of 
the toughest sections to film, he recalls, was 
"Practice." In this scene, Gould, on a concert 
tour, enters a practice room. But rather than 
sit down at the piano, he restlessly circles the 
room in a musical reverie. "I had to show a 
pianist not playing the piano," says the direc- 
tor of his predicament. "Gould never 
rehearsed. He'd walk around his apartment 
with a score in his hand... then his first 
rehearsal was made with a tape turning [in 
the recording studio]. Gould wasn't interest- 
ed in the sound of the piano. His sound is 
quite ordinary. He was representing ideas. 
He was a thinker and represented music at 
its most pure level. The movement shows it 
was not about the act of playing the piano." 
Girard adds that 
the piece in this 
scene — Beeth- 
oven's Tempest 
sonata — was 
written when the 
composer was 
deaf and, like 
Gould, tussled 
with the music in 
his head. 

Girard's ulti- 
mate challenge 
was Gould's 

extraordinarily 
prolific output. 
The pianist's 
archives contain 
no less than 
6,000 letters, 110 
hours of recorded 
music, plus per- 
sonal diaries, 
interviews, arti- 
cles, TV programs, and the CBC radio docu- 
mentaries that Gould produced. "The fun 
part was going through the books, the 
records, and hunt for anything that could 
make a short film," recalls Girard. "I was like 
a little boy in a candy shop, trying to fill my 
pockets." He and cowriter Don McKellar 
initially sketched out about 60 scenes, then 
whittled them down to 32, changing seg- 
ments up to the last minute. "The hardest 
part was trying to build a continuity," says 
Girard. This dramatic arc is key to the film's 
strength. "There is an introduction, then you 



12 THE INDEPENDENT April 1994 



introduce your character, you move into the 
intrigue, you present this subject and that, and 
then you have a dramatic ending. And paral- 
lel with that, you have content continuity and 
music continuity." 

Girard, a self-taught pianist, came to his 
subject with a cursory knowledge of Gould's 
life and music. His producer, Niv Fichman, 



% 




m V 


\ 




J^ 


«p ' 


^F 


:W 


MM ~ 


' ' BP^ 


m" 


■ ■ m 

1 ^^v 


W 


^^^ *!——, 

H^^ 


m 


Gould (Colm Feore) listens to playback during a recording session. 

Courtesy Samuel Goldwyn Company 


,1 


S| 


mm \3»' 

2 


..km 




\ * 1 "'-•'.'"' ^Hir 


t*fll 


K./ , 


1 



was on the other hand a die-hard Gould fan. 
Fichman and partners Barbara Willis-Sweete 
and Larry Weinstein (all former New York 
University film students) formed their compa- 
ny, Rhombus Media, in 1979 in order to pro- 
duce films about music. Back in Toronto, 
Gould was very much on their minds. Sweete, 



in fact, had a job working at Gould's hotel, 
the Hampton Court, and one night spotted 
the pianist heaving a garbage bag into his 
Lincoln Continental at 2:00 a.m. The 
obsessed group followed him as he drove for a 
half-hour before disposing of his cargo at a 
remote bus shelter. They, of course, went 
through his garbage and found only a bagful 
of grapefruit peels and old newspa- 
pers. 

Thirty-two Short Films came 
about after Girard and Fichman 
worked together on the Emmy- 
award winning film he Dortoir, and 
Girard suggested doing something 
on Gould. "First I wanted to do a 
play," recalls the director, who had 
been approached about writing 
and directing something for the 
stage. "I thought that the Glenn 
Gould interviews would be a good 
subject. Then I started to read his 
interviews. Ten days later, after 
reading through the whole thing, I 
understood there was a film there 
and rushed to Toronto to talk to 
Niv." Unlike the Rhombus pro- 
ducers, who, as Toronto residents, 
grew up with a Glenn Gould photo 
in their classroom and a view of 
him as a national hero, Montreal- 
born Girard was less awestruck. "I 
had that French-Canadian dis- 
tance," he says. "I got into the sub- 
ject without these filters and was- 
n't scared by any preconceptions." 
The year ahead for Girard 
should be quieter, once he winds 
up a concert film about Peter 
Gabriel which the rock star asked 
him to shoot. Girard is in the 
unusual position of having time off 
because he cancelled his next dra- 
matic feature, which was fully 
funded and about to roll. But 
Girard decided that the subject — a 
female concert pianist — was the 
wrong thing to follow Thirty-two 
Short Films. "She just died, suffo- 
cated by Glenn Gould," he 
explains. Now with some money in 
pocket, Girard plans to take off a 
year in order "to read a little bit, 
walk my dog, and write." 

But he's not there yet. There's 
still the promotion of Thirty-two 
Short Films to attend to. Trudging 
through the snow as we leave the 
coffee shop, Girard says that he's 
already done "hundreds" of inter- 
views. "When it's about your fic- 
tion work, you get bored with the 
same old questions and talking 
about yourself." But with Thirty -two Short 
Films, he confesses, "I just divert the ques- 
tions back to Gould. And I never get tired of 
talking about him." 

Patricia Thomson is editor of The Independent. 




Multimedia is tricky 

When it jumps off your 
desktop, where is it going to 
go? Don't be surprised if you 
have to chase your vision 
down to ESPI, where small 
formats, full broadcast quality 
and the latest computers all 
come to interface. 
•Computer output from Mac, 
PC, & SGI (Softimage, Alias 
and Wavefront) to BetaSP. 

•Paint, animate, capture and 
scan on state of the art Mac 
and Indigo 2 systems in our 
Digital Image Lab. 

•Component Online with EFX 
and paintbox for $175.00/hr. 
RGB computer output and 
postscript fonts are online! 

•Broadcast Quality from Hi8, 
3/4SP,SVHS or BetaSP at 
in our cuts only rooms. Cut 
your reel at special rates. 

•BetaSP packages starting at 
$400.00/day. Three days to 
a week on Hi8 rentals ! 

•IMC robotic video stand, for 
real-time 2D slide & picture 
animation. 



ERIC 




PRODUCTIONS, INC. 

15 West 26th Street 
NYC, NY 10010 
212 481-ESPI (3774) 



April 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 13 



henry s. rosenthal 

NO-BUDGET PRODUCER 

by David Barker 

s a producer of what he 
calls "no-budget art films" 
by directors like Jon Jost, 
Bruce Connor, Jon 
Moritsugu, and Caveh 
Zahedi, San Francisco-based Henry S. 
Rosenthal finds himself something of an out- 
sider in the film community, even among inde- 
pendents. "There's a tremendous resistance to 
art films that are not mass market consumable 
items," he states. "I have been reviled, insult- 
ed, and publicly humiliated for the work that 




Jost, whom he credits with his conversion to 
a no-budget aesthetic. Rosenthal was 
already an experienced producer when he 
met Jost and was four years into producing 
avant-garde legend Bruce Connor's first 
feature film, The Soul Stirrers: By and B7 
(due for completion in 1994). It was a 
screening of Jost's 1977 feature Last Chance 
for a Slow Dance, shot and edited on color 
reversal stock for $3,000, which changed 
his life: "It just tore my head off my shoul- 
ders," Rosenthal recalls. "I came out of the 
theater and said, 'If you can make that 
movie for $3,000, I sure would like to work 
with you.'" This led to a collaboration 
which has produced five films, including the 
critically acclaimed All the Vermeers in New 
York for American Playhouse. A recent 
result of this partner- 
ship, Frameup, a 35mm 
color feature budgeted 
at only $40,000, pre- 
miered at last year's 
Sundance Film Festival. 
This year's Sundance 
included Jost's The Bed 
You Sleep In. 

As a producer of fea- 
tures with budgets rang- 
ing from $15-250,000, 
Rosenthal is clearly 
unconventional. "Cer- 
tainly my role as a pro- 
ducer is very different 
from that of a Holly- 
wood producer, who sits 
behind a desk making 
phone calls. Often I am 
helping out on set, even 
doing some of the cater- 
ing." In fact, he eschews 
all conventional wisdom 
about independent pro- 
duction. All the Ver- 
meers in New York was 
shot in New York City 
completely nonunion, 
except for SAG, and 
with no shooting per- 
mits, although they used 
such high visibility loca- 
tions as the World 
Trade Center, World 
Financial Center, and 
Metropolitan Museum 
of Art. This was possi- 
ble, in part, because the 
film was shot entirely in 
natural light, one of 
Rosenthal's favorite 
cost-cutting tips. 

"When we needed to go 
to a location, we would 
go in a cab, shoot our 
I've done. I've been told that the films I pro- scenes, and return." He also advises no- 
duce are harmful to the film industry, that they budget filmmakers against worrying about 
represent an investor's worst nightmare of rights ("You should be so lucky to have a 
what a film can be, and that they will drive film that is visible enough to have prob- 
independent capital out of the film industry." lems") and against consulting lawyers: 
For the past six years, Rosenthal, 38, has "There is no place for lawyers in no budget 
worked primarily with veteran filmmaker Jon films. They should not be called. They 




Courtesy Henry S. Rosenthal 



should not be consulted at any point. That is 
wasted money, money that doesn't go on the 
screen." 

As difficult as production is on this scale, it 
is distribution and marketing that Rosenthal 
finds the greatest challenge. This part of film- 
making is "so soul-killing, so heart breaking," 
he says. Although the filmmaking process 
ends when the answer print comes out of the 
lab, "the humiliation that comes after that 
never ends. This is what drives people mad, 
literally." All the Vermeers in New York is a 
good example. Jost's first "big budget" film 
($250,000) after nearly 30 years of struggle, 
Vermeers won the Los Angeles critics' award 
for Best Independent Feature, received two 
thumbs up from Siskel and Ebert, and opened 
in LA to rave reviews in all seven major 
papers — on the day of the LA riots. "It was 
inconceivable, beyond belief. We'd struggled 
for years for that moment; all the pieces were 
falling into place. Then something tanta- 
mount to an act of God occurred, and the 
theater was closed." Eventually the theater 
reopened, but due to curfew played only one 
matinee a day. "I'll tell you," Rosenthal adds, 
"the feeling at that time was not conducive to 
driving across town to see a quirky little art 
film." 

When people come to him for advice 
about making films, the first thing Rosenthal 
always says is, "Don't do it." "I can't stress the 
point too strongly," he explains. "I really feel 
that most films that are made should not be 
made, and that the world would be a better 
place if most of them didn't exist." He also 
knows it takes a special kind of fortitude to 
endure the heartbreak bound to occur along 
the way. "The people I work with are mono- 
maniacs, absolutely driven. If I have any skill 
as a producer, it is that I have been able to 
work with people with whom it has been 
thought impossible to work with; difficult but 
enlightening." 

Rosenthal currently has two projects in 
postproduction, Jon Moritsugu's feature Mod 
Fuck Explosion and Caveh Zahedi's I Don't 
Hate Las Vegas Anymore, which premiered at 
Rotterdam in January. He recently had to 
hire an assistant to deal with the ever- 
increasing flow of scripts and proposals that 
come into his office. His company, Complex 
Corporation, is able to support itself with rev- 
enue from sales of earlier films and his origi- 
nal investors have all made their money back 
or allowed their funds to roll over. Still, 
Rosenthal remains cynical. "If the measure of 
a producer is his or her financial success, as I 
think it must be, then there is no question 
that I am a failure." Yet he manages to 
remain faithful to his vision, producing those 
films that Hollywood refuses to make and 
having no intention of making it big. "As 
Sergio Leone said," Rosenthal notes, 
'"Making a film is hell, but having made a 
film is wonderful.'" 

David Barker is an independent producer and 

director of education at Film/Video Arts in 

New York City. 



14 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 994 



Photo: Michael McLaughlin, courtesy Beryl Korot 





| hey are described 

in the Book of 

Genesis, but might 

^f just as well have come 

from one of the great 

psychological novels of the 

nineteenth century. There's 

^». Hagar ' an Egyp ' 
tian maid drafted 

by her employers 
to be a surrogate moth- 
er. But after over-elevating 
herself within the household hierar- 
chy, Hagar and her son, Ishmael, are ousted by 
the barren wife, Sarah, who in turn is surprised 
by a post-menopausal pregnancy. Her hus- 
band, Abraham, bravely challenges the pan- 
theistic idol worship of his king. For this 
offense, he is thrown into a fiery furnace — and 
survives on faith. Yet Abraham is also capable 
of lying to save his own skin, telling the 
Pharaoh's men that his beautiful wife is his sis- 
ter as she is hauled off. Abraham's pivotal 
place in history is earned by fathering two 
sons— Ishmael, a warrior and nomad, and 
Sarah's obedient son, Isaac — and with them, 
two faiths: Moslem and Jewish. At Abraham's 
death, the sons reunite to bury their father in a 
cave in Hebron, on the West Bank. Today the 
mosque built on top of the Cave of the 
Patriarchs remains the only religious site where 
Jews and Arabs worship side by side. Sadly, it is 



now also known as the site of the massacre of 
Arabs by a Jewish settler in February. 

Had the story of Abraham been done as an 
old-fashioned bel canto opera, we might have 
seen singers in striped robes and veils enact- 
ing the sacrifice of Isaac or the hardships of 
Hagar in exile. Instead, The Cave, a multi- 
channel video opera by Beryl Korot and com- 
poser Steve Reich, offers a small ensemble of 
singers and musicians positioned on a spare 
scaffold that also supports the opera's main 
players: five large video monitors. On them, 
we see texts and exegesis from the Old 
Testament, the Midrash Rabbah, the al- 
Tabari, and the Koran, which supply the nar- 
rative backbone. But the heart of The Cave 
lies in the commentary: documentary footage 
of Israelis, Palestinians, and Americans — 
scholars, artists, journalists, religious leaders, 
and regular folk — responding to the ques- 
tions: Who for you is Abraham? Who for you 
is Sarah? Hagar? Ishmael? Isaac? The bottom 
line for Korot and Reich is, Do they still live? 

"The questions were like a Rorschach," 
says Korot. Indeed, the answers speak vol- 
umes about different cultures, ages, and reli- 
gions. "When I think of Hagar, as a black 
female, I really think of myself," says a young 
minister from Texas, who proudly notes, 
"She's the first female that God speaks to." 
But for an elderly, black, female church 
leader from Brooklyn, Hagar is "the ser- 



vant — and of course the servant takes 
orders." To a Jewish peace activist, the Arab 
Ishmael is "our relative. He's different. He's 
our relative." For other Israeli Jews, he is "a 
fighter." "We see [his children] in the 
streets." To a Palestinian educator, he justi- 
fies their claim to the land: "Ishmael is the 
oldest and he's the inheritant and we are the 
descendant and that's that." While The Cave 
as a whole is apolitical, as Korot and Reich 
have repeatedly claimed, politics seeps in 
everywhere. 

This being a multimedia opera and not a 
Frontline piece, the documentary material is 
transformed, musically and visually. The 
interviewees' speech inflections provide the 
musical motifs: their natural melodic lines 
are isolated, fragmented, repeated, paral- 
leled by woodwinds and strings, and spun 
into an intricate rhythmic web. Similarly, 
the talking heads shots veer toward the 
abstract as they, too, are repeated across the 
monitors, with several screens devoted to 
enlarged details which Korot likens to por- 
traits: Ethiopian fabric, a rainbow-colored 
sweater, a gate with graceful ironwork. In 
the second act, details become borders; by 
the third, the borders are multiplied and ani- 
mated. By this stage, "It's like pure commen- 
tary," explains Korot — a visual metaphor for 
what's happening in the interviews. 

The Cave is Korot's first collaboration 
with Reich, her husband of 18 years, but it 
represents a confluence of interests they've 
shared for years. During the seventies, Korot 
and Reich started attending classes in Jewish 
studies. "My grandparents were religious 
people," recalls Korot, 48, as we sit in her 
downtown Manhattan loft. "Steve didn't 
come from that. It was really something we 
went to as adults." Korot recalls being 
"astounded" at "how text and commentary 
are taught in the Jewish tradition: it's like 
the ultimate in deconstruction....The notion 
that you take the Old Testament and read it 
as a bunch of stories is a concept so foreign 
to Judaism. It's got nothing to do with how a 
text is studied, which is never alone, always 
in a dynamic situation with other people, 
and always with commentaries that span 
millennia, in order to even begin to crack 
the code." The Cave, she asserts, is "a text 
and commentary sine qua non." 

The Cave also represents Korot's return to 
video after a nine-year hiatus. During the 
1970s, she was one of the pioneers of video 
art, as well as coeditor of the first magazine 
devoted to video art, Radical Software. From 
the beginning, Korot was interested in mul- 
tiple channel work and image/sound 
sequences on adjoining monitors, realized in 
such works as Dachau, 1974 and Text and 
Commentary (1977). During this time, she 
also began weaving ("The loom is the most 
ancient tool on earth for learning how to 
program multiples") and then painting, 
abandoning video by 1980. "I felt that I had 
done everything I could with multiples in 
terms of time, without repeating myself." 



April 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 15 



The Suffolk County 

Motion Picture and 

Television Commission 



presents 



the 

LONG ISLAND 

FILM & VIDEO 

FESTIVAL 



Call for Entries 

for 

1994 



Entry Forms: 

SUFFOLK COUNTY 

MOTION PICTURE/TV 

COMMISSION 




Dept. of Economic Development 

H. Lee Dennison Building 

Veterans Memorial Highway 

Hauppauge, New York 11788 

516-853-4800 
1-800-542-0031 



Then came desktop video. Suddenly, video 
was more than cameras and cuts. The com- 
puter made it malleable and almost as tactile 
as her brushes and loom. Plus, she could edit 
at home. "I never liked going into studios, 
because I never liked the clock ticking," 
Korot says, firmly shaking her head. "I want- 
ed to be able to work every single day and 
experiment, develop my own techniques, and 
never have a technician in a studio say to me, 
'This is what's available to you.'" 

And experiment she did. The three acts of 
The Cave, edited over a period of four years, 
chart the evolution of computer graphics 
capabilities and Korot's increasing facility 
with her software. "When I started, I thought, 
'Am I going to have to reshoot the images off 
the screen?'" Instead, Ben Rubin, technical 
advisor for The Cave, told her about some 
frame-grab programs just coming out and put 
her in touch with computer graphics consul- 
tant Harry Siegel. "Then, after I finished the 
first act, I said, 'Harry, I'm getting itchy to try 
something else. Is there something that will 
allow me to manipulate the stills?' and he 
said, 'Yes, try this High Resolution QFX,'" 
which again was the latest software. "The 
piece really did evolve in that sense," says 
Korot. By the end, she knew her software so 
intimately that she could tweak it to create 
the illusion of movement without an anima- 
tion program. 

Computers weren't the only new chal- 
lenge. "The idea of taking a video installation 
format and blowing it up to fill a stage — that 
was an act of faith," Korot admits. Now she 
faces the opposite challenge as she contem- 
plates a single-channel version, which could 
potentially find its way onto television. That's 
clearly the best shot at getting the work wide- 
ly seen in the U.S., which has always been rel- 
atively inhospitable to video installations and 
large-scale performance works. The Cave is no 
exception: In Europe, it has been staged in 
Vienna, Berlin, Holland, London, Paris, and 
Brussels. In the United States, it had one 
booking, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music 
last fall. In addition, the scaled down ver- 
sion — a video installation with musicians on 
tape — was shown at the Whitney Museum. 
Not surprisingly, Korot is focusing her 
fundraising efforts on European sources. 

The Cave has yet to be shown in the 
Middle East, though there's been great inter- 
est. "Things are too volatile there," Korot 
explains. "You have Muslim fundamentalists 
who might be absolutely outraged that the 
Koran or the mosque is presented within the 
context of a music theater work." For secular- 
ized Americans, on the other hand, it's The 
Cave's religious history that stands out. On 
leaving a screening at the Whitney, one 
Jewish man remarked to his friend, "I feel like 
I just packed in three years of Sundays." But, 
far from being a stultifying Sunday-school 
experience, The Cave sweeps one along with 
its exhilarating music, compelling characters, 
and telescoping of ancient and modern. As 
Korot says, "It goes down like a drink of 
water." 

Patricia Thomson is editor of The Independent. 



hen Hector Galan 
started his career 21 
years ago, things in the 
television documentary 
business were quite dif- 
ferent. Black and white 
one-tube video cameras 
were still in use. Latino 
productions were virtu- 
Courtesy Hector Galan 




by Ray Santisteban 

ally nonexistent. At that time, Galan recalls, 
"It was innovative just to have a Chicano's 
voice on the air." Now in mid-career, Galan, 
40, is one of the top Latino producers, hav- 
ing completed 10 projects for the PBS docu- 
mentary series Frontline and nearly a dozen 
other nationally aired television programs, 
including The Hunt for Pancho Villa, broad- 
cast November 3rd, 1993 on American 
Experience. Most recently, Galan was named 
series producer for i Chicano.', an eight-part 
PBS series that may do for the Mexican 
American civil rights movement what Eyes 
on the Prize did for the history of Black civil 
rights. 

It was while growing up in San Angelo, 
Texas, that Galan first became interested in 
media. Originally wanting to become a radio 
deejay, he unexpectedly was hired to do 
camera at the local CBS affiliate. Galan was 
quickly hooked. "I got the bug and knew I 
wanted to be a TV director," he recalls. 
Galan got his chance at age 20. While still in 
college, he began directing nightly news at 
the NBC affiliate in Lubbock, Texas. 

In the 1970s Galan became active in the 
Chicano movement, eventually joining the 
student activist group MEChA (Movimiento 
Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan). At this 
point his burgeoning career underwent a 



16 THE INDEPENDENT April 1994 



change. "I started to learn more about who I 
was — my identity as a Chicano — and I start- 
ed to think about what I could do in televi- 
sion to bring more of these stories to the peo- 
ple." Combining his work as an activist with 
his knowledge of video production, Galan, 
now fresh out of school, created a weekly 
news and public affairs program, Aztldn, for 
KTXT also in Lubbock Texas. In its two-year 
run the program covered poetry, music, and 
political issues of interest to what was then 
known as "El Movimiento." 

Soon afterwards, Galan entered the 
national arena. Hired in 1980 as an associate 
producer on Checking It Out, a 26-part series 
on Latino teenagers for Austin's Southwest 
Center for Educational Television, he soon 
became senior producer of the entire series. 
Its success lay the foundation for a quick suc- 
cession of other projects helmed by Galan. 

Since then, Galan's work has covered a 
wide spectrum of subjects, from college ath- 
letics (Chasing the Basketball Dream, 1984) to 
the dynamics of race relations in the military 
(The Color of Your Skin, 1991). Most recently 
he completed The Hunt for Pancho Villa, a film 
on Pancho Villa's 1916 attack on Columbus, 
New Mexico, and the failure of General John 
J. Pershing to capture him. 

Whether as a staff producer or as head of 
Galan Productions, Inc., his Austin-based 
company established in 1984, Galan has con- 
tinued to produce projects that deal with 
issues of concern to the Latino community. "I 
try to walk a careful line," Galan admits, 
"because people love to pigeon hole you and 
say, 'That's what that producer is going to do.' 
I'm totally against that; I like to do every- 
thing. But I have a love and special interest in 
doing programming with themes that are 
Latino. I've done projects like Vaquero (on 
Mexican American cowboys) and Los Mineros 
(about Mexican American copper miners and 
their struggle for equality), but, at the same 
time, the last Frontline I did was on then 
Arkansas Governor Clinton's record on child 
welfare." 

With his latest project, Galan's work has in 
many ways come full circle. He is currently 
producing a film called Songs from the 
Homeland, which will explore the Tex Mex 
music that attracted him to the idea of 
becoming a deejay. In addition, there's his 
work on iChicano! This series, a coproduction 
of the National Latino Communications 
Center and KCET/Los Angeles, will examine 
the Mexican American civil rights movement 
which he actively participated in during his 
youth. 

"What's funny and jarring to me is that 
we're doing this as history, and I'm thinking, 
'My god! How old am I?'" But given this 
country's short memory, Galan believes there 
is a strong need for the series. "The Chicano 
movement had an enormous social and polit- 
ical impact on the nation as a whole," Galan 
says. "Americans, like the younger genera- 
tions of Mexican American people in general, 
don't really understand our history or the 
impact of what transpired during that time." 



After years of working exclusively in docu- 
mentary, Galan is still committed to this film 
form. "People always ask me, 'Don't you ever 
want to do a feature?' or Aren't you tired of 
doing documentaries?' You know, I'm not. 
I've had the opportunity to move into other 
areas of network programming — some of the 
magazine shows and so on — but I'm going to 
keep doing this. I still think there a lot of sto- 
ries that need to be told." 

Ray Santisteban is a New York-based indepen- 
dent producer and freelance writer. 



*v 



)her leo daniels 

1 k. brent hill 



DIRECTOR PRODUCER 

by Yvonne Welbon 

With activists lobbying in 
Washington to lift the ban 
on gays and lesbians in the 
military, the work of direc- 
tor-producer team 
Christopher Leo Daniels and 
K. Brent Hill is 
I especially timely. In 

f their 30-minute 

J^ short Victor, they 

V examine the life of a 
^\ black soldier who 

I J happens to be gay. 

^J Not a documentary, 
1^ Victor tackles the 

WJ issues obliquely, 

using a lush, lyrical, 
experimental style 
that has netted the 
filmmakers numer- 
ous awards on the 
festival circuit. 

k^U ■ ! The idea for the black-and- 

: ! white short was sparked by tele- 

| ^^ vision coverage of the Persian 
^^ Gulf war. While watching 

f Nightline, Daniels and Hill began 

scripting the narrative. "Victor is 
about a number of things," Hill 
says. "It is obviously about the disenfranchise - 
ment of blacks and gays. It is also about going 
to fight in another country and killing in the 




USASTUDIOS 



April 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 17 



Hi-8/Betacam Sp 

Packages 

SONY, BETACAM SP CAMCORDER 
PACKAGE... $400 

SONY, PRO HI BAND 
PACKAGE... $200 

INCLUDED IN EACH PACKAGE: 

■ Light Kit plus Sun Gun w/Battery Belt 

■ Audio Kit plus Shore Field Mixer FP32 

■ Field monitor ■ Fluid tripod 

■ 

VHS-VHS PROFESSIONAL 
EDITING SYSTEM 

DO YOUR HI-8 AND BETACAM SP 
OFF LINE EDITING ON: 

JVC BR8600U to JVC BR8600U 
W/RM86U editing console... $10 per/hr. 

PEOPLE W/AIDS PROJECTS DISCOUNT 



Manahatta Images Corp. 

260 WEST 10TH STREET, STE. IE 
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10014 
212-807-8825 FAX AVAILABLE 




WHEN 

LIGHTNING 

SiRIKiS... 



D.R. REIFF 
& ASSOCIATES 



ENTERTAINMENT INSURANCE 

BROKERS 

320 WEST 57 ST 

NEW YORK, NY 10019 

(212)603-0231 FAX (212) 247-0739 




name of democracy. It's about how little we 
value human life." 

The leading man, Victor, 
serves in an unspecified 
branch of the mili- 
tary. When called to 
fight in an unnamed 
war, he is awash in 
mixed emotions, 
mulling over his 
future with his 
boyfriend and set- 
ting out for Wash- 
ington, DC, to 
talk to his father, 
a Vietnam vet. 
These scenes are 
intercut with 
Victor being 
interviewed by 
anonymous, 
lab-coated 
researchers. 
Asked why he 
wants to serve 
in the military, 
Victor (in a con- 
vincing performance by 
Hill) is painfully unsure just 
why he joined. Shyly trying to 
articulate his belief that this is a way 
to better himself, Victor lapses into 
Armed Forces recruitment lingo: "I wanted to 
be all that I could be...," he shrugs, his voice 
trailing off. 

"We are not asked 
to identi- 
fy with 
Victor as 
much as 
we are 
asked to 
look at 

him," Dan- 
iels explains. 
"The film sort 
of betrays 
him. He talks 
tough, but 

footage shows 
him to be other- 
wise. He's sad. 
He has to keep 
his lover secret." 

With limited 
dialogue, the film 
relies on a stunning 
soundtrack by 

Wayman Lamont 
Widgins and strong 
visuals by Daniels, 
who was the film's 
cinematographer. "I 
took a course in black-and-white 
painting and a charcoal drawing class to learn 
to see in black and white," recalls Daniels. "I 
wanted to learn how to separate things with- 
out using color. I purposely used a lot of high 
contrast lighting to heighten the tension in 
the film." 

With little traditional exposition, the view- 




er is left to stitch together the narra- 
tive pieces. For instance, Victor 
tells the interviewers that he 
promised himself he would go to 
Washington to discuss with 
his father the decision to 
fight. But we never see the 
father, except in old, 
silent, home movies. It 
is not until Victor 
arrives at the 
Vietnam War 
Memorial that 
we realize this 
will be their 
meeting 
place — his fath- 
er is a casualty of 
an earlier war. 
Screened on pub- 
lic television's Through 
the Lens III and 
Independent Images series 
and in festivals in London, 
Berlin, Montreal, and across 
the U.S., Victor has come away 
with several awards. In 1993, the 
National Black Programming 
Consortium gave it first place in the 
experimental film category at the 
Prized Pieces Film and Video Festival. 
The film also picked up an experimental 
dramatic award from the Baltimore 
Independent Film & Video Makers competi- 
tion and an award for 
narrative at the 
Chicago Lesbian & 
Gay International 
Film Festival. 

Daniels, 30, a 
native of St. 
Louis and a 
graduate of 
Temple 
University, 
began 
making 
films at 
age 1 1 
when 
h i s 
moth- 
e r 

bought 
him a movie 
camera and 
took him to visit 
Universal Studios. 
He went on to create a 
film class at his high 
school, where he focused 
on sci-fi films with special 
effects. Hill, 33, a native of 
Philadelphia and also a Temple 
graduate, began his artistic career as 
an actor in elementary school. Also given a 
movie camera as a child, Hill, unlike 
Daniels, focused most of his attention on 
theater. He began his stage career as a child 
with Society Hill Playhouse in Philadelphia 
and has continued acting. A mutual friend, 



18 THE INDEPENDENT April 1994 



aware of Hill's interest in acting and Daniel's 
interest in filmmaking, introduced them 
while they were students at Temple. 

One of their first collaborations was a s.tage 
play written and directed by Daniels called 
The Day. Staged by the Avalanche 
Multiethnic Lesbian and Gay Theater Group 
for the Arts for AIDS Festival '90, Daniels 
and Hill co-starred in the one-act play about 
the day a cure for AIDS is found. This suc- 
cessful collaboration led them to begin pro- 
duction on Victor. 

Both men are now involved in freelance 
projects including music videos, television 
commercials, and film and video productions. 
Hill is in postproduction on a video project 
called Eight Ball, a love story about HIV, dis- 
closure, rejection, and unrequited love. 
Daniels is working with Hill again, this time 
as an actor on Eight Ball. 

" [Videomaker] Cheryl Dunye gave us the 
inspiration," says Hill about Victor, his first 
coproduction with Daniels. "We had both 
worked on a couple of her projects. Watching 
her, we realized that if we wanted to make a 
film, all we needed to have is a dream and 
some talent." 

Yvonne Welbon is a writer and filmmaker who 
lives in Chicago. 



roberto t 
arevalo 

MEDIA 
EDUCATOR 

by Jason Gregoricus 



eenage filmmakers have a dis- 
tinct edge over professionals, 
says Roberto Arevalo, head of 
the Somerville, Massachusetts- 
based Mirror Project. They have 
not yet been influenced by 
established conventions. "One 
of the things I've learned is that 
adults tend to run away from 
what they are," he says, 
"where [as] teenagers and youth 
are more in touch with who they 
are and express that openly." 




MEDIA COMPOSER SUITE -4000 

CREATIVE H 1-8 
PRODUCTION PACKAGES 

OFF LINE/ON LINE 
PRODUCTION FACILITY 



BETACAMSP-3/4 



CALL FOR INFORMATt 
ON OUR AFFORDABLE RATES 







DISTINCTIVE 

MULTIMEDIA 



212-366-4818 



HM RIFKEN PRODUCTIONS INC. 

P.O. Box 222 • 21 Glenwood Ave. 
Leonia, New Jersey 07605 



EXPERIENCED CAMERAMAN OFFERS: 

PRE AND POST PRODUCTION SERVICES 

COMPLETE FIELD PACKAGE 

FULL INSURANCE COVERAGE 

NARRATIVE 
DOCUMENTARY • TRAINING VIDEOS 

Plus 

Fluent Spanish 

Experience in 

Latin America and Europe 

Clients Include: 

ESPN, NBC, CNN, MTV 

NICKELODEON 

FRONTLINE 

FEATURE VIDEO PRODUCTION COMPANIES 



TEL: (201) 461-5132 
FAX: (201) 461-5013 



PAGER: (201) 996-7599 
NYC (917) 728-0141 




OFF-LINE 
AVID 4000 
SONY 3/4" 
DUPLICATION 

G6NIX 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, 10012 
FAX 212 941 5759 



April 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 19 




#■ 



the best distributor 
for the independent 
film maker. 

lapesbrii 

INTERNATIONAL 

920 Broadway 

New York, NY. 10010 

Tel: (212) 677-6007 

Fax:(212)473-8164 



COUDBt 
&SANDS 



Independent 
Insurance Brokers 

All Forms of Insurance 



56 Beaver St. #801 

New York, NY 10004-2436 

tel: 212-742-9850' fax:212-742-0671 

Contact: Debra Kozee 

Members: AICP, AIVF, IFP & NYWIF 




• 



• 




Roberto Arevalo (center) with Mirror Project students 
Anderson St. Louis and Margarita Garcia. 

Courtesy the Mirror Project 




The Mirror Project is about as close as one can 
get to grassroots mediamaking. A program of 
Somerville Community Access Television, locat- 
ed outside of Boston, the Mirror Project teaches 

1 1-to 16-year-olds how to produce their own 

video documentaries. In its short year-and-a-half 

existence, the program's young producers have 

received more accolades than most mediamakers 

could hope to collect in a lifetime. 



20 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 994 



Last May, Mirror Project teens beat out 262 
adult filmmakers and won three Outstanding 
Public Access Program awards at the New 
England Film and Video Festival: Savages, by 
former gang member Efraim Bautista, had 
children reenacting scenes of urban gang life, 
including a shooting and a police raid. Lenny 
Fuentes' Hoops dramatized the intensity of an 
inner-city basketball game, and Patricia 
Vallardes' Twins depicted the everyday prob- 
lems of twin sisters. In 1992, Chicago's 
Women in the Director's Chair Festival recog- 
nized 14-year-old Natalia Velez for her inven- 
tive use of voiceover in her short Mr. Friend, 
giving her their Emerging New Producer 
award. Last fall, Boston's Institute of 
Contemporary Art hired Velez and Bautista to 
help videotape Young, Black, and Malcolm X, 
an urban perspective piece exploring contem- 
porary teens' attitudes toward the black 
Muslim leader. In January, 13 year-old Mirror 
graduate Anderson St. Louis won the Alliance 
for Community Media's national competition 
with his short Living Large, which features a 
hyper-confident monologue by his cousin. 
Living Large has been selected to represent the 
U.S. in the upcoming international Olympiad 
of Local Video and TV Creation in 
Copenhagen. 

Arevalo, 35, built the program from scratch 
when hired by Somerville Community Access 
Television in 1992. "My role," he says, "is sim- 
ply to show the kids that what they have to say 
is important." 

Born in Colombia, Arevalo emigrated to 
the U.S. at age 22. After getting his General 
Equivalence Diploma, he majored in Media 
Communications at Hunter College in Man- 
hattan while working nights in a restaurant. 
Early on he realized video technology was a 
potent tool for expression and self-assertion. 
Arevalo began chronicling his own life and 
that of other immigrants, finding that "real 
life" was as important as the classroom. "I 
learned more about sociology when I was 
working with Haitians, Africans, and 
Americans as a dishwasher," he notes. 

A documentary on a local maker of arepas 
(cornmeal patties, a Colombian specialty) 
landed Arevalo a job at the Spanish-language 
cable station Tele-Colombia in Queens. He 
spent a year videotaping Los Colombianitos, a 
news show depicting the everyday lives of the 
Colombian community. In the summer of 
1992 Arevalo moved to Boston. 

In many ways the Mirror Project reflects 
Arevalo's egalitarian training. Taking advan- 
tage of Somerville's ethnically diverse commu- 
nity, Arevalo chooses eight young proteges 
from a slew of applicants. The four-month 
course consists of training the students in the 
rudiments of videomaking, then simply letting 
them go to work on projects. 

Part of the program's uniqueness resides in 
its hands-off methodology. Whereas many 
mediamaking classes emphasize teaching 
through instruction and example, Arevalo 
stresses self-teaching. "I feel it's unfair for a 
teenager to get away from what he or she has 
to deal with, and try to imitate public televi- 
sion," he says, "because that's not what they're 



Slides 

4x5's 

8 x 10's 

Flat Art 

Books 

Objects 



If you ever put these 
on video, you're miss- 
ing something special 

if you don't do it at 
Aerial Image. Our pro- 
prietary motion control 
system produces the 
finest moves on stills 
you'll find anywhere. 




zsnnMEnsMnssEMisim 




Aerial Image 

Video Services 

137 West 19th St 

New York, NY 10011 

Ph (212) 229-1930 




April 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 21 




Avids for Rent 

• At Your Location 

• Complete Technical Support 

• Flexible System Configurations 

• Affordable Rates 



For more information, call Don Blauvelt at (212) 390-0225 



NewCi ty Productions 

development/ production / post-production 



| f | J s f. £ X ,f | , s I 






High Quality 

Service at the Most 

Competitive Prices 

in Town 



Full On-Line Editing Suite 
Specialists - HI-8 & Beta SP 
Digital Video Effects 
Broadcast Quality 



about." Placing heavy emphasis upon their 
own experiences and intuitive abilities, the 
teens learn simply by watching and cri- 
tiquing previous projects. These critiques 
then become the foundation for their own 
videos. 

Despite their beginner's status, the video- 
makers often touch on meaty issues, includ- 
ing racism, teen pregnancy, and inner city 
violence. As the videos are usually slice-of- 
life vignettes, they often underscore for their 
young audiences the commonality of experi- 
ence, regardless of socio-economic, cultural, 
and ethnic gaps. As Arevalo says, "The 
Mirror Project is not just a video training 
program for teenagers... [It] is a movement 
that is promoting dialogue between people." 

The result is not only self-awareness, but 
powerful and entertaining videos. "One of 
the things that really inspires me is the way 
teenagers show what they think without any 
barriers. Their spontaneity and sincerity can 
be very touching," he says. "Teenagers show 
what is happening in their lives, and the 
result is that they're recording a history that 
doesn't have anything to do with the acade- 
mic world, the so-called experts." 

It is recognition from experts, however, 
that is currently occupying him. Although 
the next batch of eight videos are due to be 
viewed on May 20, Arevalo is making plans 
to attend the video Olympiad in 
Copenhagen earlier that month. Yet, even 
with success hampering some production, 
Arevalo's energy and enthusiasm remain 
undaunted. He attributes this to working 
with the kids. "When you have respect and 
learn from the youth," he says, "then you feel 
younger all the time." 

Jason Gregoricus is a freelance writer/journalist 
currently living in the Boston area. 



Call now & ask about our 

SPECIAL 

COMPLEMENTARY 

OFFER 



m 1 f *tl mm § S «* 1 



..* I &. V I I i./ i..st i.4 ij 



Film / Video Scoring 
Time Code Services 



Video Transfers 



NewCity Productions, Inc. 

635 Madison Avenue 
New York, NY 10022 
212.753.1326 Fax 212.371.2825 









f* T I f% jFl C N 



MOVING? 

Let us know. The mailing list 
change may not take effect until 
the next issue of the magazine, 
so please notify us in advance. 

IMPATIENT FOR YOUR 
Independent! 

You can speed up delivery by 
upgrading to 1st Class mail for 
an extra $18 per year ($55 out- 
side of North America). 



22 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 994 




^w 



New in '94: UCLA grad John Zhang's tow-budget 
crosscultural drama Consuming Sun tells the story of 
Chinese writer Mai Kebo, whose love for Japanese 
culture results in trouble during the Sino-Japanese w< 





Rf< 



^b^ 



■ <., 



April l<)<)4 THE INDEPENDENT 23 




^JmWi 




dum 






nam 




^^k a A ■ 

Jjinde 




Once a "model minority," ie., silent and well-assimilated, Asian 
Americans are becoming more visible- The last 20 years have wit- 
nessed a large array of independent films and videos that were pro- 
duced, distributed, and exhibited through grassroots Asian American 
organizations and media centers. Increasingly, such works have left 
the "margins" to flirt with the mainstream. Thanks to a network that 
includes community-based Asian American film events as well as 
international film festivals, Asian films are no longer reserved for an 
elite of specialists, but are reaching wider and wider audiences. 

In the industry, everything is gauged in terms of box-office, and, if 
Asian subjects, directors, and actors are hot in Hollywood these days, 
it is because they bring in big bucks. Talent agencies that have signed 
on John Lone and Joan Chen are now cashing in, and both actors 
have been successful in roles that were initially "color blind" (The 
Modems for Lone, Twin Peaks for Chen). A turning point was 
reached when cult director John Woo, who had his own production 
company in Hong Kong, signed on with Universal to direct Hard Tar- 
get. Woo's first experience with the studio system (in a package deal 
that included Jean-Claude Van Damme as the lead, a script he had 
not written, a slightly unrealistic budget, countless re-editing ses- 
sions, and a reshoot) was not entirely happy, but the film made 
money, which means that Woo is now "bankable" in Hollywood. 
Meanwhile, as some veteran Asian American directors are success- 
fully bringing their stories to multiplex audiences, a younger genera- 
tion of independents is busy exploring different paths. 

Clearly, 1993 was the breakthrough for Asian American films, 

capped by the commercial success of Wayne Wang's The Joy Luck 

Club. The film's overwhelming popularity — it has grossed more than 

$30 million — was somewhat of a surprise. Granted, Amy Tan's 

novel had been on the New York Times' best-seller list for 

months, but rumor had it that the intertwining stories of 

eight mothers and daughters in feudal Mainland China 

and contemporary San Francisco were too complex to 

bring to the screen. 

"I read the book in 1989," says Wang. "I was 
seduced by the details, how the dialogue sounded and 
the characters related to each other, which reflected 
my own Chinese-American immigrant experience and 
my relationship to my parents. And the story had an 
ironic tone that transcended melodrama. 
"I met Amy Tan in San Francisco, and we took [the pro- 
ject] around. Eventually Ronald Bass [Academy Award-winning 
screenwriter of Rain Man] joined in and wrote the screenplay with 
Amy, but it took us about three years to get the film produced." 

Hollywood executives were skeptical: Wang had an international 
reputation as an arthouse director (with such films as Dim Sum, 1984, 
and Eat a Bowl of Tea, 1989). His latest feature, however, the fero- 
cious, surreal, noir thriller Life Is Cheap, but Toilet Paper Is Expensive 
(1990), had failed to meet with box-office success and was deemed 
too "experimental." Moreover, it was said that "there were not 
enough good English-speaking Asian actresses" to cast the major 
parts in The Joy Luck Club, a cliche Wang finds demeaning: "There 
are a lot ot strong actresses here; what was difficult was to find the 
right ones. We had casting calls in Los Angeles, New York, through- 
out the United States, and in China." 

Showing the protagonists at different moments in their lives, the 
film featured nearly 30 Mandarin-speaking roles. The cast that Wang 
put together demonstrates the richness of the acting range available 
in the Asian American community. Relative newcomers like Ming- 
Na Wen, Tamlyn Tomita, and Lauren Tom plaved alongside recog- 
nizable Asian American icons Rosalind Chow, Russell Wong, and 
Victor Wong. Also featured were veteran actresses with internation- 
al careers like Mainland Chinese Tsai Chin, Vietnamese Kieu Chinh 
and France Nuyen^ and Lisa Lu, twice recipient of Taiwan's Golden 
Horse award for Best Actress. Shot in the Bay Area and Mainland 
China, the $11 million film was financed independently, with Oliver 
Stone and his partner Janet Yang acting as executive producers. A 
negative pick-up deal was signed by Disney's Jeffrey Katzenberg for 
their Buena Vista division, allowing Wang complete creative control. 

The Joy Luck Club hit the screens a few months after the commer- 



I 



A 



24 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 994 




cial success of Rob Cohen's Dragon, a pious (and often inaccurate) 
homage to Bruce Lee, produced by Universal. Aimed at an interracial 
audience (hence the importance given to Bruce's American wife), 
the film introduced a new Asian American actor, Jason Scott Lee. A 
few months earlier, a Taiwanese-American independent production, 
Ang Lee's The Wedding Banquet, won the Golden Bear at the 1993 
Berlin Film Festival and was bought by Samuel Goldwyn. Relating 
the story of a generational conflict between traditional Taiwanese 
parents who want a grandchild and their gay son living in New York, 
The Wedding Banquet grossed over $6 million in the US in its first 
seven months. 

Also last spring, at the Cannes Film Festival, Chen Kaige's Farewell 
My Concubine, starring Gong Li and Hong Kong matinee idol Leslie 
Cheung, shared the Palme d'Or with Jane Campion's The Piano. Pro- 
duced in Hong Kong by former kung fu goddess Hsu Feng, Farewell 
was the first film in which Chen had considerable financial means. 
US distribution rights were acquired by Miramax (which had earlier 
picked up Zhang Yimou's Raise the Red Lantern, an Academy Award 
nominee and the first Mainland Chinese film to gross over $3 mil- 
lion) . Since its release last fall, Farewell has topped $3 million and is 
expected to be the biggest money-making Chinese movie to date. 
Meanwhile, Cannes' Critics' Week section showed a low-budget 
Asian- American feature, Tony Chan's Combination Platter, discov- 
ered in January 1993 at Sundance and produced by Ulla Zwicker's 
and Nicole Ma's independent production company, Bluehorse Films. 
Distributed in the US 
through Arrow Internation- 
al, it is a bittersweet comedy 
about the undocumented 
workers in a Chinese restau- 
rant in New York. 

Playwright David Henry 
Hwang, like novelist Amy 
Tan, is reaching wider audi- 
ences through his screenplay 
adaptations. Last fall, Warn- 
er Brothers released David 
Cronenberg's film rendition 
of Hwang's Broadway play 
M. Butterfly. The film, which 
premiered in Toronto, stars 
Jeremy Irons as Rene Galli- 
mard, the man in love with a 
mysterious Peking Opera 
diva, and John Lone as the 
communist spy who seduces Gallimard into believing he is a woman. 
Though it elicited mixed responses from Asian American audiences 
and fared poorly at the box office, M. Butterfly stands as a stunning 
example of Cronenberg's courage in exploring a white man's self- 
deceiving fascination with the oriental Other. 

In classic Hollywood films like The Sheik (with Rudolph Valentino) 
or Frank Capra's The Bitter Tea of General Yen, it is the non-Western 
subject — the "native," "Bird of Paradise," or jaded Chinese Gener- 
al — who desires Western culture (and Westerners), which are per- 
ceived superior, endowed with what the Asian or African character 
is "lacking." Hwang reverses the cliche and turns the white man into 
the desiring fool. In Cronenberg's film, Gallimard's interest is stirred 
when the diva, Song Liling, sings an aria from Puccini's Madama But- 
terfly, an opera narrating the unhappy love of a Japanese woman for 
a white man and her subsequent suicide. Yet Gallimard's last line 
before killing himself reveals an identification with the Other's 
"impossible" situation of desire: "My name is Rene Gallimard, other- 
wise known as Madama Butterfly." 

A similar reversal can be witnessed in a more recent adaptation of 
Hwang's work, John Madden's Golden Gate (produced by Goldwyn in 
association with American Playhouse), which premiered in January at 
Sundance. The film stars Matt Dillon as FBI agent Walker, who is 
pressured to prosecute some Chinatown residents as "Reds" during 
the anti-Communist hysteria of the 1950s. One of his victims, Chen 
Jung Song (Tzi Ma) , is sentenced to 10 years in prison. A broken man 




upon his release, he leaps to his death from San Francisco's Golden 
Gate. A guilt-ridden Walker falls in love with Song's daughter (Joan 
Chen) and, rejected by her, starts identifying with her dead father; he 
then commits suicide himself. 

Sundance also revealed to U.S. audiences John Zhang's feature 
film Consuming Sun, winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at the Montreal 
Film Festival. Born in Mainland China, Zhang graduated from UCLA 
film school in 1992 and is now an American citizen. Zhang produced 
Consuming Sun for under $400,000. This US-China joint venture was 
coproduced by a Chinese television network and financed by person- 
al funds collected through friends in the United States. "This was 
very much an underground film," says Zhang. "Even though the pro- 
duction took place entirely in China, we didn't go through the Film 
Bureau, but got a permit to make a TV film. I don't know yet if we 
will be allowed to show it in China, considering all the problems that 
[Tian Zhuangzhuang's] The Blue Kite and [Zhang Yuan's] Beijing Bas- 
tards are currently having." Beijing Bastards, an "underground" inde- 
pendent film shot semi-illegally, and Blue Kite, shot at the Beijing 
Film Studio but with a screenplay different from the one submitted to 
the Film Bureau, are currently banned in Mainland China. Like 
Hwang's screenplays, Consuming Sun also deals with transcultural fas- 
cination: Chinese writer Mai Kebo's love for Japanese culture is 
brought to a crisis during the Sino-Japanese war, when he is enlisted 
as a "collaborator" and translator by a former classmate, now an offi- 
cer in the Japanese army and rival for the affection of the woman Mai 

loves. 

Hong Kong cinema is also 
becoming a part of the 
American mediascape. John 
Woo's thrillers, Jackie 
Chan's stunts, and Tsui 
Hark's and Ching Siu Tung's 
ghost stories, once "cult 
films" for the happy few, are 
becoming increasingly popu- 
lar. A new company, Rim 
Film Distributors, was creat- 
ed in Los Angeles "to bring 
Hong Kong movies to the 
general American audience," 
as reported in the LA Week- 
ly. Its president, Tom Gray, 
who produced the Teenage 
Mutant Ninja Turtles movies, 

T . ... a j . i , T . , , , signed a contract with one of 

The mothers and daughters of The Joy Luck u t^ . i j- 

Club. When developing this hit film, director " on g Kong s largest studios, 
Wayne Wang was told there were not enough Kaymond Chows Oolden 
good English-speaking Asian actresses to do Harvest. Rim Film "four- 
ths job. walled" (rented) one of the 
Photo: Shane Sata, courtesy Buena Vista Pic- Laemmle multiplex screens 
tures in Santa Monica for an 

entire year. According to 
Roberta Chow, daughter of the legendary tycoon and Rim Film 
employee, the experience was "largely positive, for the public fol- 
lowed." One of the films, Michael Mak's Sex and Zen, an hilarious 
soft-core epic, has been shown throughout the United States and 
grossed about $300,000. Rim also four-walls Cinema Village in New 
York from time to time. 



Interviewed by Janice Sakamoto when he was trying to raise money 
for The Joy Luck Club, Wayne Wang thought at the time that "the 
industry [didn't] give a fuck" about Chinese-American subjects. He 
now admits things have changed, partly because "there are more 
Asian American directors and producers, a few more executives in 
the industry, and better material." This shift owes something to the 
activity of such media organizations as Visual Communications (VC) 
in Los Angeles, Asian Cine Vision (ACV) in New York, and NAATA 
in San Francisco. Founded in 1971, 1976, and 1980 respectively, 
these Asian American media arts organizations are pathbreakers in a 



April 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 25 



^ 



network that includes smaller groups in Seattle (Kind Street Media), 
Boston (Asian American Resource Workshop), Washington, DC 
(Arts and Media), and elsewhere. 

Wang himself is a product of this advocacy movement. Having 
studied experimental cinema in the Bay Area in the sixties, he honed 
his talents at public television in his hometown, Hong Kong. When 
he realized he had become "too Americanized," Wang came back to 
work as a community organizer in Chinatown. "That was in the early 
seventies, when Asians were finding their own identity — like African 
Americans," he recalls. It was through the festivals organized by VC, 
ACV, and NAATA that Wang's landmark film Chan Is Missing 
(1981) was first shown, as was Ang Lee's first feature, Pushing Hands 
(1991), 10 years later. While it took almost 15 years for Wang to 
reach the mainstream, the process was much shorter for Lee. Credit 
goes in no small part to the advocacy work by Asian American media 
arts centers to change the images of Asians in American culture. 

The question now is 
whether these organizations 
have outlived their useful- 
ness. The answer lies in a 
closer look at the recent 
Asian American film festivals 
they sponsor. Not only are 
these events more helpful 
than ever in promoting the 
work of new film- and video- 
makers, but the content of 
Asian American media has 
changed enormously, reveal- 
ing a rich, complex, and sur- 
prising array of themes, 
approaches, and concerns. 
While most of the work pro- 
duced in the seventies or 
early eighties was struggling 
to define Asian American 
identities, reclaim untold sto- 
ries, and fight racism, new 
generations of artists have 
emerged who don't want to 
be bound to exploring issues 
linked to their ethnicity. 

One of the hits at the 
NAATA's Asian American 
International Film Showcase 
in March 1993 was Glamazon 
(1993), by Rico Martinez, 
who claims a triple Chinese- 
Filipino-Mexican heritage. 
Martinez' first feature, Des- 
perate (1991), found its first 
audiences in Asian American 
festivals, even though all its 
characters are Caucasians. 
Glamazon, an alluring mixture of fiction and documentary, recreates 
the astonishing life of "she-male" Barbara LeMay, a poor little white 
boy from the South who became a burlesque queen. Bypassed by 
"legitimate" festivals, the film did extremely well in Asian American 
and gay networks before finding a distributor, Headliner. 

Japanese- American director Gregg Araki's career follows a compa- 
rable path. His low-budget black-and-white features exploring the 
angst of young people in LA (Three Bewildered People in the Night, 
1987; The Long Week-End (O' Despair), 1987) were first shown by 
organizations like ACV, VC, and NAATA. Then came The Living 
End (1992), a super- 16 color film showing two HIV-positive lovers on 
the lam through California, which, distributed by October Films, 
grossed about $1 million nationwide. Araki, who was sometimes 
attacked for not having Asian characters in his films, told Bomb mag- 
azine that he identifies punk culture as a bigger influence on him 
"than being gay or being Asian." In Totally F***ed Up (1993), shown 



26 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 994 




in Toronto and Sundance, Araki uses an interracial cast headed by a 
young Asian American actor to tell the story of six gay teenagers try- 
ing to define their sexual identities, get dates, and deal with homo- ,«aB 
phobia in the Los Angeles suburbia. Yet, he explains "these kids are 
just kids, and they have certain problems, but their ethnicity is not 
one." 

Fellow Japanese American filmmakers Jon Moritsugu (Der Elvis, 
My Degeneration, Hippy Porn) and Roddy Bogawa (Two or Three Inci- 
dents in June) are equally intent in exploring the anxieties and 
ecstasies of American youth culture, although Bogawa's latest film, 
Some Divine Wind, deals directly with the complexities of mixed 
parentage. Moritsugu is currently completing two films: Mod Fuck 
Explosion is a feature about teenagers in love within the context of a 
gang war of Japanese bikers against white mod scooters kids. Then 
there is the ITVS-funded Terminal USA, which Moritsugu defines as 
"an accelerated version of the soap opera about a dysfunctional 

Japanese family living in 
Detroit, Michigan. I consider 
it a radical project in that it is 
a representation of Asians 
never seen before... This is 
really my first attempt at deal- 
ing with the issue of my iden- 
tity as a yellow man." 

Taiwanese-born artist Shu 
Lea Cheang states that she 
"would hate to be limited to 
the so-called Asian American 
experience." The community 
she identifies with is that of 
media artists and activists 
with whom she collaborates 
in New York, from Paper 
Tiger Television to Filipino 
performance artist/writer Jes- 
sica Hagedorn. In her video 
and installation work, such as 
Color Schemes and Those Flut- 
tering Objects of Desire, 
Cheang inserts issues tit Asian 
American identity within 
anti-colonialist, anti-racist 
struggle, questions of media 
representation, and sexual 
politics. As a producer of To 
Be Televised, a series of five 
hour-long compilation tapes 
from the Philippines, Korea, 
Taiwan, Hong Kong, and 
Mainland China, she 
explored the role of video as a 
site of resistance and a tool of 
empowerment in Asia. Hav- 
John Lone in M. Butterfly, as the spy/opera diva ing gone to Tiananmen 
who seduces a French diplomat by exploiting his Square in June 1989, she 
stereotyped notions of the Oriental female. brought back material for a 

Courtesy Warner Bros. five-channel installation, 

Making News/Making History, 
as well as How Was History Wounded, a videotape deconstructing 
how Taiwanese and Chinese media represented the Democracy 
Movement and its repression. This trip to China was also an oppor- 
tunity to redefine her cultural identity: "It started as a search for a 
homeland, then it became a search for a form of political awareness. 
I didn't come back for the landscape, I came back for the whole 
media community I want to be identified with." 

In her first feature film, Fresh Kill (programmed at the Panorama 
in Berlin and the Creteil Women's Film Festival in Paris), Cheang 
goes way beyond the issues of "identity" to create a funny, whimsical, 
and visually compelling paean to New York's ethnic, cultural, and 
sexual diversity: A polluted fish from Taiwan comes to disturb the 





Hwang's Golden Gate, directed by John Madden, aims for the lives of an inter- 

mainstream with a name-brand cast— Joan Chen and Matt racial lesbian 

Dillon— headlining the McCarthy-era drama. couple (Sarita 

Photo: Bob Greene, courtesy Samuel Goldwyn Co. Choudhury of 

a Mississippi Mo- 
saic fame, and 
Erin McMurtry), 
two sushi work' 
ers/computer 
geniuses, and a 
few callous yip- 
pies while mak- 
ing cats glow in 
the dark and 
smart little girls 
disappear. 

Asian Ameri- 
can festivals also 
show experi- 
mental video 
dealing with 
issues of gender 
and sexual iden- 
tities. The "Gen- 
der & Its Multi- 
ples" programs 
curated by Chi- 
nese-American videomaker/gay activist Ming- Yuen S. Ma for 
NAATA's Showcase and VC's Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film and 
Video Festival contained works by Pablo Battista, May Fung, Soo Jin 
Kim, TranT. Kim-Trang, Anson Mak, Meena Nanji, Azian Nurudin, 
Ellen Pau, Valerie Soe, Chuleenan Svetvilas, and many others- 
including the ITVS-produced collaboration between performance 
artist Paul Kwan and filmmaker Arnold Iger, Anatomy of a Springroll. 
ACV's Videoscape series last year showcased the crosscultural/cross- 
gender explorations of Christine Choy, Dai Sil Kim Gibson, and 
Elaine Kim's (SA-I-GU), Richard Fung (Out of the Blue), Victor Huey 
(Rocking the Great Walls), Quentin Lee (To Ride a Cow), Meng Ong 
(China Doll), and Angel Velasco Shaw (Nailed), as well as shorter 
narrative films such as Christine Chang's Be Good My Children 
(1992) and Helen Lee's My Niagara (1992). Yet these festivals still 
have room for more traditional features, such as "Tiana" Thi Thanh 
Nga's From Hollywood to Hanoi (1992), a spirited account of her 
return to her native Vietnam, which opened the Asian Pacific Festi- 
val, or Harada 
Masato's Painted 
Desert (1993), 
which played 
both in Los 
Angeles and 
New York. 

Painted Desert is 
a noirish explo- 
ration of the 
California waste- 
land,, in which 
veteran actress 
Nobu McCarthy 
plays a character 
inspired by the 
legendary Tokyo 
Rose, a Japan- 
ese-American 
woman accused 
of collaboration 
with the Japan- 

For yoanger directors like Gregg Araki, punk culture is more ^ e . eT , ^ 

influential than being gay or Asian. Like his earlier films, Quite different 

Totally F***ed Up features a multiracial cast. in style and 

Courtesy Strand Releasing approach, both 




films strive to define hybridity: "homecoming" is no longer possible 
for Asian immigrants, and their identity is anchored in the American 
mediascape (the B-movies in which "Tiana" got her break as an 
actress) or the lures, illusions, and dark realities of the landscape, as 
in Masato's film. 

Whether presented by Hollywood, American independents, or 
Asian directors, Asian subjects are "hot" in the US. Is this a real 
opening towards non-Western cultures? Could it be the recognition 
of the essential hybridity of American society? Or it just a fad? "Last 
year being gay was hot, and this year it's being Asian," says Araki. "As 
a filmmaker, this is not something 1 think about. What's important is 
that America is no longer white." ^^B 

Birenice Reynaud writes for Liberation, Cahiers du cinfeia, and Sight and Sound 
and teaches film/video criticism at California Institute, of the Arts. 



NETPAC 



ot 



romotei yjitan 





The Hawaii International Film Festival is currently bene- 
fiting FROM THE NEW INROADS MADE BY CHINESE FILMS IN THE 

West. Last November, it sponsored the first international 
netpac conference on promoting and distributing asian 

films. NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cin- 
ema) WAS CREATED FIVE YEARS AGO IN NEW DELHI, BY INDIAN 
FILM CRITIC ARUNA VASUDEV. FULFILLING AN OLD DREAM, SHE 

SIMULTANEOUSLY FOUNDED CtNEMAYA, THE ONLY ENGLISH-SPEAK- 
ING QUARTERLY ENTIRELY DEVOTED TO ASIAN CINEMA, 



The conference's 150-odd 
participants — festival direc- 
tors, scholars, curators, TV 
programmers, publicists, 
media advocates, and film- 
makers—flew in from 26 
countries, ranging from Iran 
to Finland. During the pan- 
els and workshops they dis- 
cussed issues related to the 
dissemination of Asian cine- 
ma, particularly its poor dis- 
tribution within the Asian 
continent itself, which is 
largely colonized by Holly- 
wood. "Why can't an Indian 
peasant see a film relating 
the life of a Vietnamese 
peaant?" was among the 
questions mulled over. 

Other panels discussed 
the successful marketing of 
Zhang Yimou's Raise the 
Red Lantern; the role of tele- 
vision, universities and 
nontheatrical exhibition cen- 
ters; and the cases of sever- 
al national cinemas (the 
Philippines, India, and Sri 
Lanka). In addition, an Asian 
Film Discovery Program 
selected by NETPAC's mem- 



bers presented 14 pro- 
grams. These included Im 
Kwon-Taek's superb Sopy- 
onje (South Korea, 1993), 
Yu Wei-Yen's haunting 
Moonlight Boy (Taiwan, 
1993), and the first shorts 
ever produced in Mongolia 
(N. Uranchimeg's moving 
Shackles, 1991 and N. 
Nyamdawaa's An Unfortu- 
nate Fortune, 1991). 

Vasudev announced the 
creation of a NETPAC 
Award to be bestowed at 
the 1994 International 
Forum in Berlin. The next 
NETPAC conference will 
convene in two years in an 
Asian city yet to be deter- 
mined. NETPAC also plans 
to organize workshops in 
different Asian cities, pub- 
lish a resource directory and 
a book on Asian cinema, 
and produce a regular 
newsletter. 

For information about 
NETPAC, contact: Aruna 
Vasudev, Cinemaya, fax: 
0091-11-462-7211. 

Berenice Reynaud 



April 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 27 








' s 



28 THE INDEPENDENT April 1994 



'T 





This high- capacity, high-speed computer 

network could do for the flow of 

information— words, music, movies, medical images, 

manufacturing blueprints, and much more — what the 

transcontinental railroad did for the flow of goods a 

century ago and the interstate 

highway system did in this century. 

John Markoff, New York Times, 
24 January 1993 

Today, we have a dream for a 

different kind of superhighway— an information 

superhighway that can save lives, create jobs, and 

give every American, young and old, the chance for 

the best education available to anyone anywhere. 

Al Gore, National Press Club, 
21 December 1993 




"IF YOU EVER PLAN TO MOTOR WEST," SONGWRITER ROBERT 
Troup tells us in his 1946 hit, "travel my way, take the highway that's 
the best. Get your kicks on Route Sixty-Six!" Even for those of us 
who have never had that particular pleasure (or who were otherwise 
occupied while Tod and Buzz managed to find work in a different 
jerkwater town every week on the old CBS television series), there's 
something concrete, almost comforting, about Route 66. It's gone 
now, having been replaced by no less than five wider, straighter, and 
far less interesting interstates, but the spirit of the old road lives on. 
We can still picture Route 66 in our mind's eye, stretching across 
plains, mountains, and deserts, connecting Lake Michigan to the 
Pacific Ocean. "You'll see Amarillo, Gallup, New Mexico; Flagstaff, 
Arizona; don't forget Winona, Kingman, Barstow, San Bernadino." 

Not nearly so comforting is the "information superhighway," 
which, for all of its publicity of late, remains distant, elusive, complex. 
It doesn't really exist at all, in fact. It's a tantalizing fiction, stretch- 
ing from the vice president's vivid imagination to the gleam in some 
cable magnate's eye, from the modem on your desktop computer to 
the business plan of some far-off regional phone company. It's either 
virtual monopoly or virtual democracy, depending on whose vision 
you believe, virtual information- exchange or virtual lowest common 
denominator. Or possibly all of the 
above. 

The information superhighway is sim- 
ple enough in its popular incarnation, 
certainly in USA Today and Time, where 
it's most commonly depicted as a sleek 
electronic toll road, with Bell Atlantic at 
one end, cable TV giant TCI at the 
other, and 500 channels of entertain- 
ment in between. Home shopping and 
video-on-demand appear to be the chief 
roadside attractions: Hair Club for Men 
available 'round the clock on channel 
178, Home Alive Nine starting in four 
minutes on channel 317, and hours and 
hours of re-runs. Heeeeere's Johnny, 
here's Lucy, Andy, Archie, and hun- 
dreds more, and there goes the neigh- 
borhood. 

Fortunately, the 500-channel model is 
merely an artifact of our limited imagi- 
nations. Appropriately designed, a fully 
implemented digital system would more 
closely resemble telephone service — 
which allows one to send and receive 
messages anywhere — than the one-way 
street of cable television. Still, the highway metaphor is apt: For bet- 
ter or worse, and probably a little of both, the information super- 
highway will also run through Washington, D.C. And if nothing else, 
that means this particular highway will be anything but simple. 

Part of the complexity stems from all of the confusing road signs, 
the multiplicity of terms — or worse yet, initials — that have been 
attached to various digital highways, both real and imagined. The 
Internet, the National Research and Education Network (NREN), 
and the National Information Infrastructure (Nil) are three of the 
most common, and they are often used interchangeably, which only 
adds to the confusion. Cast in cinematic terms, the Internet — an 
intricate web of some 1.7 million computer networks around the 
world, relaying both commercial and academic traffic — would be a 
vast collection of theaters, from large multiplex cinemas at suburban 
malls to tiny screening rooms in downtown arts spaces. NREN, in 
contrast, is rather like the American Film Insititute — five federally 
sponsored testbed centers investigating high-speed computing — 
although in its vision of ultimately bringing academic networking to 
the masses, NREN is much more expansive than the AFI. Finally, the 
Nil is everything — and nothing. For it, too, is a vision, with one eye 



April 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 29 



fixed on the private sector, where the communications media (tele- 
phones, television, publishing, and computer networking) are rapidly 
converging, and the other on the federal presence that will be neces- 
sary in order to stimulate, regulate, and ensure broad access to the 
evolving digital infrastructure. 

That "federal presence" in computer networking actually dates 
back a quarter century, when a Cold War plan, designed to ensure 
that computers at various research, military, and defense-contractor 
installations would keep humming even after a nuclear attack, pro- 
duced something called ARPANET. That network eventually 
spawned MILNET and CSNET (which later merged with another 
academic network, BITNET) before being succeeded by the Nation- 
al Science Foundation's NSFNET, which is itself now served by yet 
another set of initials, ANS (Advanced Network & Services), the 
creation of Merit, IBM, and MCI, and a major provider of high-speed, 
"backbone" connections for a wide variety of public and private net- 
works. Once limited to a handful of sites, the national backbone pro- 
vides connections to more than 4,000 research and educational insti- 
tutions throughout the country. 

Without that federal commitment to high-speed networking, it's 
doubtful the Internet would have reached the size that it has, and it 
certainly would not have grown so quickly. A well-kept secret in its 
early years of operation, the Internet has enjoyed unprecedented 
growth since 1988, doubling in size every year. It cannot maintain 
that pace indefinitely, of course, but with all of the publicity it has 
been receiving of late, and with the eventual link-up of the major 
commercial services, Internet will continue to grow well beyond its 
current estimated 16 million users worldwide. 

Once on the Internet, with its 6,000-odd USENET discussion 
groups (and some of them are exceedingly odd), there's open access 
to scores of computers around the world (well, open if you know a few 
handy UNIX commands), and its suite of resource discovery tools 
(gopher, WAIS, World Wide Web, with more to come), it's easy to 
forget about Washington, D.C., but that doesn't mean the feds don't 
have designs on the Internet, too. It's not so much that Big Brother 
is watching. Rather, he's trying to make up his mind what to do next, 
a prospect that can be equally daunting. 

Aside from Vice President Gore's more ambitious speculations, the 
federal ruminations thus far have largely focused on the NREN legis- 
lation, the current federal vision of the future of high-speed net- 
working, and quite possibly the bridge between the Internet and the 
information superhighway. As visions go, however, NREN's is much 
more utilitarian than Utopian. Just as the government's earliest 
investments in computer networking were a product of Cold War 
tensions, NREN is firmly tied to competition on another front. 

"Advances in computer science and technology," proclaims the 
High- Performance Computing Act of 1991, "are vital to the nation's 
prosperity, national and economic security, industrial production, 
engineering, and scientific advancement...." This time around, how- 
ever, it isn't Sputnik but rather the Honda Civic that poses the 
biggest threat to our domestic tranquillity. "The United States cur- 
rently leads the world in the development and use of high-perfor- 
mance computing for national security, industrial productivity, sci- 
ence, and engineering," the 1991 legislation warns, "but that lead is 
being challenged by foreign competitors." With its emphasis on sci- 
ence and engineering, the original NREN legislation predictably 
focused on coordinating the activities of some of the more rigorous 
parts of the federal bureaucracy — the Departments of Energy and 
Commerce, NASA, EPA, and NSF — overlooking entirely the cultur- 
al sector — the Department of Education, the Smithsonian, Library of 
Congress, and the arts and humanities endowments. Three years in 
the making, the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991 (spon- 
sored by Al Gore in the Senate) authorized $2 billion in spending 
over five years. Its initial appropriations, however, allocated mainly to 
NSF and NASA for the support of five testbed centers, were a more 
modest $93 million. 

In the two years following the passage of the first high-speed com- 



puting legislation, there has been far more talk than action in Wash- 
ington. NREN may eventually increase transmission speeds from 45 
megabits to three gigabits per second, but the wheels of democracy 
are still hand-cranked affairs, and the technology legislation is no 
exception. All indications are that new legislation will be passed this 
year, however, producing a road map for the information superhigh- 
way that will doubtless draw heavily on the prototypes and trial runs 
of the past two years. 

The first step in that process came with the Information Infra- 
structure and Technology Act of 1992, popularly known as "NREN 
II" in the House, where it eventually passed, and "More Gore" in the 
Senate, where it languished. The proposal took a small step toward 
extending the reach of networked computing beyond the engineers, 
but the shift in emphasis was slight, from white coats to blue suits. "If 
we're going to strengthen our economy and create jobs," declared 
then-Senator Gore upon introducing the legislation in July 1992, "we 
must move these advanced technologies from the laboratories into 
the marketplace...." But Gore's plan was notable, at least, for includ- 
ing health care and education among the beneficiaries of high-speed 
computing: "So that students from kindergarten through college, fac- 
tory workers and managers, doctors and health care providers can 
benefit from the technologies available now only in research labora- 
tories and the data they can make accessible, we must expand our 
efforts to bring advanced technologies to the people who can benefit 
from their use." 

If artists and their audiences aren't among the people slated to 
benefit from this technology, perhaps they might at least take heart 
from another aspect of the 1992 legislation, which calls for "digital 
libraries." Still, these "huge data bases that store text, imagery, video, 
and sound" were to be under the purview of NSF and NASA; only a 
passing reference was made to the Library of Congress elsewhere in 
the legislation (and, as before, with absolutely no reference to the 
other federal cultural agencies). We may have a saxophonist in the 
White House, but the arts don't show up on the federal list of prior- 
ities these days. 

NREN II edged closer to reality last summer, with the passage in 
the House of Rep. Rick Boucher's (D-VA) National Information 
Infrastructure Act of 1993 (the main points of which are incorporat- 
ed into Title VI of Sen. Ernest Hollings' (D-SC) National Com- 
petitveness Act of 1993, still making its way through the Senate). 
Expanding yet again on the original NREN bill, Boucher's 166 legis- 
lation was notable for three new provisions: (1) expanded access, tar- 
geting "historically underserved populations and individuals with dis- 
abilities"; (2) a "connections program," to foster "the development of 
network services in local communities which will connect institutions 
of education at all levels, libraries, museums, and State and local gov- 
ernments to each other"; and (3) ease-of-use provisions, including 
training programs for librarians "to instruct the public in the use of 
hardware and software for accessing and using computer networks," 
and "research programs needed to develop and demonstrate 
human/computer interfaces that will simplify access to and use of the 
Internet by nonspecialists...." 

Yet here again, the emphasis of the Boucher bill was narrowly 
pragmatic, stressing "workforce training in mathematics, science, and 
technology, and in specific job-related skills including literacy." Even 
when Boucher appeared to flirt with Mondo 2000, calling for the pro- 
duction of "consumer-oriented, interactive, multimedia materials," 
his motivation was closer to Prevention: such material would be limit- 
ed to the "delivery of health information to the public." A laudable 
goal, certainly, but not as imaginative as, say, a plan to pipe the digi- 
tized works of NEA fellows into the public schools. 

We've been down this road before, of course. The National Sci- 
ence Foundation, which began in 1950, grew phenomenally during 
the Cold War (from $3.5 million in 1952 to $480 million in 1965), 
and federal funds for education took a decidedly mechanistic turn in 
the wake of Soviet scientific advances. It wasn't until the more 
expansive years of the Great Society that the arts and humanities 



30 THE INDEPENDENT April 1994 



endowments were established. However meager their initial funding 
(the NEA remained under $10 million during its first five years in 
operation), the adjustment in the national agenda was an important 
one, as Sen. Edward Kennedy made clear in his testimony on behalf 
of the cultural legislation in 1965. "We may make great strides in 
atomic energy and space exploration, in automation, in biology, and 
chemistry," Kennedy observed. "But we will be dull and listless men, 
amid all these wonders, if we do not also expand the human mind and 
spirit." 

Such sentiments as these are rarely voiced in Congress today, at 
least not on behalf of cultural activities. Thus the nonprofit arts can 
scarcely expect a free ride on the information superhighway, or even 
directions on how to get there from here. If the arts community had 
to overcome indifference in the fifties before it could hope to secure 
federal patronage in the sixties, the challenge it faces in the 
nineties — overcoming both the predominance of conglomerate cul- 
ture and the fear and loathing of Congress — is even greater. Nor, 
given the current hands-off, deregulatory mood in Washington, can 
the arts expect any special favors as the traffic laws of the information 
superhighway are formulated. 

In fact, while the left hand of Congress has been sketching the 
aforementioned variations on the theme of high-speed computer net- 
working over the past few years — generally weighted toward research 
and scientific applications— the right hand on Capitol Hill has been 
concerned with untying the many regulatory knots that stand in the 
way of the potential highway engineers from the cable and telephone 
industries. Most of these regulations date from an earlier era when 
phones were phones, TVs were TVs, and computers were something 
that IBM sold. Nevertheless, one wonders how much leveling the 
playing field for billion-dollar corporations will do for nonprofit enti- 
ties and individuals— arts organizations and artists among them. On 
paper, the entrance of telephone companies into the content busi- 
ness, offering 'video on demand,' for example, looks promising. But 
the 'demand' side of the equation remains troublesome. Tower 
Records and Video has a lot on its shelves, after all, but the masses 
aren't exactly beating a path to its door demanding works by Ornette 
Coleman and Stan Brakhage. Marginalization is no less real given the 
presence of a few more tycoons battling it out for control of the main- 
stream. 

Two pieces of legislation in particular loom large on the telecom- 
munications frontier, approaching their deregulatory tasks from dif- 
ferent angles, but designed to achieve the same results: setting off a 
virtual Oklahoma land-rush for prime real estate along the informa- 
tion superhighway. HR 3626, introduced in the last session by Reps. 
Jack Brooks (D-TX) and John Dingell (D-MI), would restore to local 
telephone companies three key markets that had been declared off- 
limits by the divestiture of AT&T in 1984: long-distance operations, 
equipment manufacture, and information services. If the seven 
regional Bell operating companies (RBOCs) stand to gain from 
Brooks-Dingell, then HR 3636, co-authored by Reps. Ed Markey (D- 
MA) and Jack Fields (R-TX), appears to be more of a break-even 
proposition. With this legislation, the RBOCs would lose their 
monopolies on local telephone services, but they would gain in 
another arena, with the elimination of regulations that currently pro- 
hibit them from delivering video to the home. 

The recently introduced Clinton-Gore legislative package endors- 
es these basic principles, in the belief that deregulation will stimulate 
die kind of private investment — anywhere from $100 to $400 bil- 
lion — that will be necessary to complete a full-fledged National Infor- 
mation Infrastructure (Nil). As expected, the vice president has 
emerged as the leading figure in the Nil debates, carrying on the work 
he began in the Senate, but with considerably more clout. During the 
1992 campaign, Gore sounded at times as if he believed the federal 
government should spend as much money on the digital highway as 
it had on the earlier, asphalt variety (which amounted to a 90 percent 
share for some parts of the interstate system). These days, however, 
the vice president is sounding much more conservative, calling for a 



federal role limited largely to priming the pump (with modest 
research and community-access funding), setting the tone (encour- 
aging links to schools and hospitals), establishing a few ground rules 
(equitable access and network compatibility), and basically standing 
clear of the corporate steamrollers that will actually pave the infor- 
mation superhighway. "Unlike the interstates," Gore declared in his 
speech on telecommunications at the National Press Club in Wash- 
ington last December, "the information highways will be built, paid 
for, and funded by the private sector." 

It may well be that the vision Gore outlined in his January speech 
to the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences — "a seamless web of 
communications networks, computers, databases, and consumer 
electronics that will put vast amounts of information at users' finger- 
tips" — will eventually be realized. The financial stakes seem high 
enough, and the cable-telephone mergers lucrative enough, that the 
major concession Gore asks for — a commitment to nondiscriminato- 
ry access and interoperability — will be readily accepted by the Bell 
Atlantics and Time-Warners. Nor can it be denied, in this period of 
unprecedented technological convergence, that the Communica- 
tions Act of 1934 needs a thorough overhaul; that many of the old 
regulations simply don't apply in this new environment. Yet there are 
lessons from the past, too, that should not be overlooked. 

Route 66 comes to mind again in this regard— or any distant high- 
way, for that matter. There are a variety of ways one gets one's bear- 
ings on unfamiliar roadways — Red Roofs, Golden Arches, and other 
corporate icons — but it's the car radio that provides the most com- 
fort. Nor is it simply the syndicated voices of Rush Limbaugh and 
Larry King that send one scurrying to the left side of the FM dial. 
That's sufficient impetus, to be sure, but there's a better reason than 
bad talk shows to seek refuge between 88 and 92 megahertz, that vital 
part of the 'ether highway' that almost never existed at all— at least 
not in its present, enlightened form. 

During the congressional debate over the Communications Act of 
1934, a proposed amendment reserving 25 percent of the AM chan- 
nels for educational use became a major issue. In order to avoid a 
delay in the passage of the act, supporters of the educational set-aside 
agreed to a compromise provision, requiring the FCC to report to 
Congress on the advisability of allocating "fixed percentages of radio 
broadcasting facilities to particular types or kinds of nonprofit radio 
programs or to persons identified with particular types or kinds of 
nonprofit activities." Remarkably, the FCC reported early in 1935 
that it had found ample opportunity for educational programming in 
the existing commercial broadcast structure, eliminating the need for 
a special allocation of frequencies for this purpose. 

A decade later, however, apparently having grown skeptical of the 
educational value of such quiz shows as Kay Kyser's Kollege of Musi- 
cal Knowledge, the FCC formally reversed its position. In setting 
aside 20 percent of the relatively untested FM spectrum for the 
exclusive use of noncommercial, educational broadcasters, the FCC 
had staked an early, important claim for cultural pluralism. 

It may require just such an act, effectively setting aside lanes for 
noncommercial culture on the digital highway, to realize the full 
potential of the national information infrastructure. Nothing in the 
Nil debate thus far, unfortunately, suggests that special provisions for 
the nonprofit cultural sector will automatically be granted. Nor has 
the NEA, whose grasp of the cultural implications of digital technol- 
ogy has been feeble, demonstrated any leadership in this regard. But 
it's unlikely that the arts community can fight this battle alone. It will 
have to fashion the kinds of alliances — and the library and education 
communities are perhaps the best places to start — that will give the 
arts sufficient clout to be heard over the clamor of the commercial 
interests already lining up to enter the information superhighway 
sweepstakes. Only in this manner can we hope to prevent the cre- 
ation of a new digital delivery system that simply offers more of the 
same — middle-of-the-highway entertainment that broadcast and 
cable television has been sending our way for years. 

Gary O. Larson is a writer living in Washington, DC. 



April 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 31 




On The Information Superhighway 



y now, the information superhighway is a household word, if 
not a household reality. But despite all the talk, there's no reli- 
able forecast of how it will ultimately look, who will have 
access, and what it will cost. 

Even less is known about how the new delivery systems will 
impact independent film- and videomakers. To provide a 
glimpse into the future, we invited nine people from the field — 
producers, distributors, funders, and public-policy advocates — 
to speculate on the following questions: 

What aspect of the new technologies will have the most impact on the way 
independent film- and videomakers produce, market, and distribute their work? 

What can independents do now — individually or collectively — to better 
position themselves for the communications environment to come five years 
from now? 



Andrew Blau 

Coordinator, Communications Policy Project 
The Benton Foundation 

The issue for independents as they consider the information superhigh- 
way is how to avoid becoming road kill, crushed by the big rigs of com- 
mercial media. The solutions lie in understanding how the interrelated 
technologies are evolving, reckoning the economic pressures these tech- 
nologies are producing, and reading the pointers toward new collabora- 
tions. 

New network options and compression technologies are adding count- 
less channels to the universe of information options. Moreover, distance 
becomes immaterial as falling transmission costs mean that transporting 
a signal across the country is not any more expensive or troublesome than 
moving it across the street — and is even sometimes less so. As a result, 
the economics of distribution are changing, since one of the most signif- 
icant barriers — the cost of access to a distribution channel — is falling and 
will continue to drop. 



Similarly, the cost of production is falling as pressure from the con- 
sumer-electronics and computer worlds pushes down the price of chip 
cameras and digital editing. (Admittedly, those same changes raise 
expectations, so that the costs of paintboxes, audio sweetening, and other 
effects drive the overall costs of many productions back up.) 

With the real costs of production and distribution falling, will tech- 
nology deliver independents into the kingdom of media heaven? Don't 
believe it. The real (and rising) costs shift elsewhere. In a world of hun- 
dreds, even thousands of channels, access to production and distribution 
is becoming easy; access to an audience will be the hard (and expensive) 
part. 

Viewers faced with channel glut are likely to continue doing what they 
do now: go for what they know. Surfing through a thousand channels 
could take all evening. Microsoft, Bell Atlantic, and others are working 
on TV-top devices that allow users to navigate the options, but how will 
the audience find you? The challenge for independents is to devise ways 
to collect potential viewers into an audience. One option is to work with 
groups that are already building audiences. Consider, for example, envi- 
ronmental or other "issue" groups: Through advertising, direct mail, and 
other means, these groups are aggregating people into "audiences" based 
on their interest in a given issue. These groups could be the programming 
signposts, if not gatekeepers of tomorrow, as their members look to them 
for program tips. 

In this multichannel, multimedia environment, the significance of any 
single channel or medium becomes less important, while brand recogni- 
tion becomes more important. Thus, rallying political forces to secure a 
channel for independents may yield little of real value; creating sustain- 
able support structures — unaffiliated with any particular medium — to 
organize and promote voices and views will be more crucial. 

Lastly, a world of integrated multimedia points to a world of integrat- 
ed problems; success will depend on integrated solutions. The challenges 
faced by independent film- and videomakers increasingly will look like 
iterations of the problems faced by community radio, independent 
audiomakers, alternative or small presses, media arts centers, community 
television, and computer community networking. As the media merge, 



April 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 33 



people from each of these areas will face the same issues of channel glut 
and organizing audiences. Looking for answers for a single medium when 
the media are merged (or multiplied) will be frustrating and fruitless. 
Independent mediamakers can be allies if they join forces and create 
audiences around content as opposed to their individual mediums. 



David Thomas 

Vice President of marketing, New Culture Network 

The television, telecommunications, and information industries 
are converging at a pace that is unparalleled in the history of 
communication. With the media focusing on billion-dollar 
mergers, advances in technology, and 500 channels of chaos, 
the potential cultural and social benefits of this convergence 
have been left in the shadows. While the most frequent 
metaphor used to describe this new TV environment is the 
video shopping mall, the real marvel will be increased commu- 
nication between people through access to alternative ideas, 
information, and artistic visions. 

Currently the economics of television, an advertising revenue-based 
mass-market system, dictates that you get only what you are given. Even- 
tually consumers will be able to choose the programs they want to watch 
from unlimited sources. The resulting fragmentation of the mass-market 
system will translate into: 

• increased creative freedom for artists (a program's commer 
cial viability will be less reliant on mass appeal); 

• increased public awareness of independent film and 
video; 

• increased production of independent films to 
match demand; 

• new markets for independent film and video, 
including a substantial secondary cable window (rep 
resented by New Culture Network) and Video On 
Demand. 

The real challenge for independents is marketing. In 
the end, even if independent films have unlimited 
access to TV's post-channel universe, they will still 
have to compete with studio programming, which, as 
always, will be backed by massive amounts of ad dollars. 
Such advertising effectively creates a filter between 
filmmakers and consumers because small distributors 
(let alone individual mediamakers) can't afford 
$100,000 for a 30-second national spot. 

Meanwhile, there is a growing market for independent 
films. Moderately successful independent films consistent- 
ly outperform studio films by three to one on a per-screen 
average, even with little or no advertising support. The market 
exists, but the means to communicate to it do not. The independent 
film industry desperately needs an umbrella organization (including film- 
makers, distributors, support organizations, theater owners, home video 
and television programmers) with the specific mandate of educating and 
marketing the concept of independent film to the general public. The 
consumer has to see and understand what the alternative is before they 
can choose it. Beyond protecting and encouraging creative freedom, indi- 
vidual and industry marketing are the essential elements needed to sur- 
vive in the mega-merger age. 

New Culture Network is committed to securing a significant venue for 
independent works on American television. Toward that end, the net- 
work is aggressively pursuing the following agendas: 

• providing a secondary cable revenue stream to hundreds, eventual- 
ly thousands, of independent filmmakers; 

• instituting programs to increase the public's awareness of indepen- 
dent film and video; 

• providing general assistance to filmmakers and support organiza- 
tions. 

New Culture Network is but one of many opportunities unfolding 
before us. National, regional, and community organizations, artists, and 
interested individuals are at the front lines in this quest for equitable 



access and a society based on diversity and expression. Their actions will 
ultimately decide the fate of American independent film in the 500- 
channel world. 



Kate Horsfield 

Executive Director, Video Data Bank 

SOME DAYS YOU WAKE UP AND IMMEDIATELY START TO WORRY. NOTHING IN PARTICU- 
LAR, IT'S JUST A SUSPICION THAT FORCES ARE ALIGNING QUIETLY AND THERE WILL BE 
TROUBLE.. — ]ennyHoker 

As anyone who reads the Wall Street Journal can easily see, the telecom- 
munications superhighway is a very, very big deal. Viacom finaly snatched 
up Paramount; Bell Atlantic was sweet (then sour) on Tele-Communi- 
cations, Inc., while AT&T has been buying everything else in sight. 
Mega-mega-conglomerates are being formed to control the viewing (and 
buying) patterns of the global television audience. The cliffhanger head- 
lines about the superhighway are also huge, but poorly explained: There 
are 500 channels of interactive television, but does this mean 200 chan- 
nels of video games, 200 channels of home shopping, and 100 channels 
of pay-per-view Hollywood films? Will interactive end up meaning 
only that you can order groceries or see your checking account bal- 
ance on your television set? 

I start to get nervous when the the telecommunications 
superhighway is described in purely convenience terms, like 
"You can buy Donna Karan from your own home," but no 
one talks about how the new interactive telecommuni- 
cations will contribute to a new public space for the 
discussion and debate of ideas. Sure, the techno- 
logical advances that make it possible to watch 
a videotape in Texas from a festival you 
missed in New York via the server system 
are extremely seductive, but will any of 
us be able to afford it? 

As we all know, the indepen- 
dent community is mostly com- 
prised of film- and videomakers who 
work with complex and sometimes 
controversial ideas and working 
styles — a combination which most 
often guarantees omission from the 
mainstream television delivery sys- 
tems. (Even Jenny Holzer's pub- 
lic-service announcement, 
quoted above, was rejected 
by a PBS station manager 
for being "too thought 
'* provoking.") After two 
decades, we still have only a 
few hours of independent work per year shown 
nationally on PBS; Blockbuster and other commercial video stores rarely 
dedicate shelf space to independent work; local politics are forcing cut- 
backs on cable access channels. We've been left out before, and now the 
big question is, Will the information superhighway really open up options 
for independents to be broadcast over new delivery systems (and there- 
fore new audiences), or will the work be marginalized again? 

While the potential benefits of the superhighway are being endlessly 
hyped, we must keep in mind that this technology is being developed 
around colossal profit incentives. Meanwhile, the costs of digitizing tapes 
and films, loading onto a server system, and sending and receiving multi- 
media video across fiber-optic wires are still unknown. 

Only one thing seems really clear: All of the organizations represent- 
ing independents — the National Alliance of Media Arts and Culture 
(NAM AC), the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers 
(AIVF), the Independent Media Distributors' Alliance, (IMDA), the 
Alliance for Community Media, and the National Campaign for Freedom 
of Expression (NCFE) — should organize a joint task force to represent 
the independent media field in the boardrooms and government offices 




34 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 994 



where the new telecommunications policies are being formulated. After 
accruing realistic information on how these policies might affect the 
independent media field and at what cost, an advocacy plan based on the 
interests of producers, media arts centers, festivals, distributors, and cable 
access programmers should be put in place. 

A number of months ago I met with several representatives of Bell 
Atlantic, who hypothesized how independent work might be included in 
their version of the superhighway. The quote I remember most from this 
meeting is, "We need to hear from you now while there's still time to 
include your concerns." 



James Allan Schamus 

Independent producer & assistant professor of film theory at 
Columbia University 

Mhen you hear that there will be 500 channels in the near 
future, don't buy into the rhetoric — there won't be "chan- 
nels" at all, just a wire going into your home, like the tele- 
phone wire. You don't limit the phone calls you make to a 
predetermined list of numbers supplied by the phone com- 
pany, so why should you allow the cable company to limit 
where you might want to dial for audio-visual-textual info 
and interactions? That's what you allow the cable compa- 
ct now, though. On the flip side, as a mediamaker, why 
shouldn't you be allowed to send someone your film or video through the 
wires, just as you send storyboards and drawings via fax and scripts and 
other data via modem? It's all just digital bits to the phone/cable compa- 
ny, whether those bits translate at the other end into simple sounds or 
texts or images or whatever. And after all, even when we're calling up 
grandma to say hello, we're using and creating with (verbal) media. 

What's needed is a different regulatory model to extend "public 
access" into the telephonic realm of "common carriage." You and I have 
just as much right to pick up the phone and transmit our work as TCI and 
Time Warner do. And just as you don't need a license to operate a tele- 
phone (as opposed to a TV or cable channel), you shouldn't need a 
license to distribute your films or other works via the network. 

Do we in the independent community have the political will and orga- 
nizational savvy to fight effectively for the preservation and extension of 
free speech into the electronic future? Certainly a first step will be to con- 
vince all Americans that they are already mediamakers when they use 
the phone, and that it is precisely their free use of the telephonic medi- 
um which is at stake in the corporate mergers and political maneuvering 
that is taking place now. 



David Blair 

Video artist 

I tend to be a bit dubious of video server claims — that in the near term, 
most films, and even ours, will be available by dial-up, like some sort of 
fractalized pay-per-view. If that's so near, why are video editors still 
scared of the rental price for nonlinear editing systems? And why are 
most of us still hopelessly gathering random evidence of the positive 
advances in cost and performance? The steadiest info-flow seems to indi- 
cate relatively out-of-reach prices for a good while. Nonlinear editing sys- 
tems have almost the same technology as video servers, and even if the 
video dialtone and video server distribution system arrives concurrently 
with affordable nonlinear, servers will still be a big investment, and access 
will be limited for a good while. 

The same applies for broad bandwidth to the home. What we're more 
likely to see in the near term is affordable bandwidth for small business- 
es. This means, in our case, it will be a production tool — if it is the sort 
of thing for which you can find a use: if, for instance, you want to work 
on a large graphics computer located at a distance from your small com- 
puter via a fiber-optic link (now as blue sky a service as the video server) , 
or use other server bureau services, or meet in a virtual workspace. 

I'm speaking practically, and practicality usually has to do with how 
you best synergize existing elements into a working system. For lots of 
folks, the functionality that bandwidth provides can be there just by mak- 



ing the simple jump from to 2400 baud, i.e., first getting online in a real 
way, discovering e-mail, as well as the infinite USENET, a bulletin board 
for millions of users on the great wide-area net. Potentially important for 
some is the slightly more expensive ability to travel (Telnet) to places like 
MOOs, multi-user on-line conferences which offer private or semi-pri- 
vate meeting places. 

Focusing on production, I think that the continuing collapse of post- 
production tools into a single box — something like Clarisworks for 
media — will terminally disrupt the dependence on serial style that using 
a camera, lights, and actors has always half-forced on mediamakers. That 
element of time-based craft will always be there, but it doesn't have to 
continue to dominate accidentally. 

The camcorder offered a start to an alternative, but we'll get past that, 
too, solving what's been a big question for many for years: how to edit the 
500 hours of tape it makes for you. Easy ownership or rental of integrat- 
ed systems will finally allow one or two or five people to make long, lin- 
ear media works (if that is what they wish) , which will potentially allow 
for the creation of a totally new type of publically exhibited cinema: a 
video-art cinema or a digital arts cinema or whatever you want it to be. 
Although this is only potential, the means and audience are there — and 
are growing. 

As for distribution: Yes, it is better to fix the new possibilities before 
they're broke (like PBS). We deserve at least public access and most like- 
ly a whole lot more, given that the new distribution systems will first 
resemble the telephone company, then Mafia-Viacom. As an alternative 
structure, go and take a look at the Internet, which spontaneously orga- 
nized from a postnuclear communications scheme into a self-organized 
and extraordinarily coherent web of first individual then institutional 
information providers. TV, child of radar, never gave us that chance (i.e., 
last time, they broke it first). 



Jeffrey Chester and Kathryn Montgomery 

Executive director & president, Center for Media Education 

The information superhighway will have profound implications 
for the arts in America. On the one hand, it could enable them 
to become a more central part of our culture, increasing the 
audience, impact, and support for arts organizations. On the 
other hand, it could bypass the arts community entirely. Arts 
organizations could find themselves cut off from the new 
telecommunications networks, like the once thriving towns that 
withered when they were not connected to the national trans- 
portation network by highways or railroads. 
While a growing sector of the nonprofit community has begun to focus 
on this issue, the media-arts community is not involved in the policy 
debate. One reason is that many organizations have been preoccupied by 
a series of persistent and well-funded attacks on public financing of the 
arts and public television. Another reason is that many arts and cultural 
groups have not understood the implications of this transformation of the 
communications landscape. 

Yet in the next few years, the media-arts community has an excellent 
opportunity to participate in both the debate and the policymaking over 
the future of telecommunications. To take advantage of this opportuni- 
ty, the media-arts community needs to present proposals that will ensure 
that cultural institutions play a central role in the new information infra- 
structure. It should also be taking better advantage of new administration 
programs designed to hasten the development of nonprofit telecommu- 
nications networks. 

In September, the White House announced the creation of an Infor- 
mation Infrastructure Task Force, which will be made up of approxi- 
mately 45 government officials and will work with a 25-member citizen 
advisory group. In addition to developing policies for advanced commu- 
nications networks, the Task Force will prepare Administration propos- 
als for promoting access to new technologies by the nonprofit communi- 
ty. (Education, health care, and libraries are specifically mentioned by 
the White House.) It will also tackle intellectual property and copyright 
issues. 

As part of President Clinton's economic stimulus package, the Com- 
merce Department (through its National Telecommunications and Infor- 



April 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 35 



Ek 



mation Administration) will provide 
approximately $25-million in grants 
annually beginning in fiscal year 1994 
to help groups link up to the emerg- 
ing information highways. 
Among those eligible for 
demonstration projects will 
be universities, local 
governments, schools, 
and nonprofits. 
Funding for this 
grant program 
will probably be 
expanded during 
the remaining 
years of the Clin- 
ton administra- 
tion. 

Although a 
500-channel 




universe is 
fast 



approaching, only a 
few new cultural 

channels have been planned 
Carter Brown's Ovation service, E.L. Doctorow's Reader's Channel, and 
the cultural C-SPAN venture being developed by Larry Grossman and 
public television. It is now clear that if the new information infrastructure 
is to foster a full range of media-arts-related programming and services, 
policies supporting such cultural efforts must first be established. These 
policies could facilitate a diversity of new initiatives including: 

• national cultural and information channels run by a consor- 
tium of media-arts organizations; 

• interactive arts networks that would bring arts educa- 
tion into schools and homes; 

• new multicultural services that would allow all Americans 
to experience the richness of ethnic and cultural diversity in our 
society; 

• a national network that presents the best work of regiona 
arts organizations, such as repertory theaters and media-arts 
centers; 

• virtual galleries and museums that would give patrons 
access to art from across the world; 

• new streams of media and arts funding (supplementing gov- 
ernment dollars) designed to support emerging artists and artis- 
tic experimentation. 

To establish enlightened policies for supporting the media arts in 
the information age, a number of critical questions need to be explored: 
Will everyone have access to the infrastructure, or will only the more 
affluent neighborhoods be fully wired? Will everyone be able to afford 
essential information? Will a part of the spectrum be reserved for cultur- 
al and other nonprofit institutions? These questions are being addressed 
by a new coalition of nonprofits recently formed to develop a "public - 
interest vision" for the new telecommunications system. 

If we are to successfully promote a public-interest vision for the future 
information superhighway, a host of essential policy issues must be con- 
sidered: 

A telecommunications civic sector. The telecommunications infrastruc- 
ture must have a vital civic sector at its core to enable the meaningful 
participation of all segments of our pluralistic society. Local and national 
civic networks will be needed to link arts institutions to all Americans. 

Nonprofit rates. To guarantee that media-arts institutions have full 
access to the information superhighway, spectrum space will have to be 
reserved and special rates created for nonprofits. 

New funding for the media arts. Since private corporations will be given 
the privilege of building and profiting from the new telecommunications 
network, public policies should mandate a quid pro quo, requiring a spec- 
trum fee or tax on telecommunications services which could help support 



media-arts and cultural programming. 

Safeguards for intellectual property. New policies need to be fashioned 
to assure the public's access to the broad spectrum of information and 
programming while protecting the rights of creators. 

State and local initiatives. Leaders of the media arts community should 
work together to shape state and local policies for modernizing telecom- 
munications services in order to ensure a central role for the arts. Regu- 
latory proceedings are now underway in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Cali- 
fornia, and Arkansas. 

Media-arts leaders must look beyond immediate policy concerns (such 
as the reauthorization of the national endowments) and focus on the cru- 
cial questions that will determine the future of the arts. If the media-arts 
community fails to take part in the debate over the information super- 
highway, the arts will be further marginalized in the 21st century. But if 
media-arts leaders develop a persuasive vision and work effectively to see 
that it is implemented, the media arts could be at the heart of the infor- 
mation infrastructure. 



Branda Miller 

Media artist & associate professor of Integrated Electronic Arts at 
Rensselear Polytechnic Institute 

Will accelerating technologies offer a revolutionary shift of power from 
institutions to individuals, with expanded creativity, ideas, and choice on 
demand? In our transition from the industrial age to the information age, 
the immediate and demanding pressure to focus on the changing tech- 
nologies distracts us from that which has not changed: dominant relations 
of power. 

How will independent artists, community activists, and educa- 
tors fight their struggles in cyberspace? How will they pay and 
gel paid? As production, distribution, and delivery systems 
merge in corporate media mega-monopolies, communities 
divide between information rich and information poor, 
and users are transformed into consumers. Left 
inchallenged, multimedia is a powerful tool: Cur- 
rent trends in the development and sale of inter- 
active technologies will reinforce pre-existing 
social structures and the continuity of cor- 
porate and consumer infrastructures. 
Far from promising a glorious interac- 
tive future, interactive media technolo- 
gies are being developed for inter-passivi- 
tv: management, surveillance, and social 
control. These superhighways are protect- 
ed bv police and have predesignated 
rest stops; choice is redefined as a 
menu with a glossy design but lim- 
ited selections. 

To stay current with commer- 
cial production values and keep 
up with marketing and distribution 
networks, few paths exist off the beaten track. How will 
independent voices and education be subsidized? What affect will the 
economy of information have on democratic structures and cultural val- 
ues? 

Access centers that are low cost and for everyone's 
use will be the battlefronts of the twenty-first centu- 
ry. The sites of struggles for free flow of meaning- 
ful information will be in artists' spaces, 
media centers, community organizations, 
schools, libraries, and alternative distribu- 
tion networks. With an eye to the future, 
independents can position themselves in col- 
lective, collaborative, and self-empowering 
ways through education and action. 

We must not sell our souls as we focus on 
technology. If we merely try to keep up with 
corporate media models and values, we will 
expend all of our energy on keeping up with the 
latest media -technology products. As an example of the 





36 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 994 



underlying cancer in our education, schools get 
wired with television hardware in exchange for 
the delivery of mass-produced history lessons (a 
la Whittle Communications). With market 
shares being the basic concern, in not only cor- 
porate but academic institutions, slick MacDon- 
alds-like messages glue passive pupils to their 
monitor-mentors. When computer-supported 
technology for learning substitutes for teachers 
and human interaction and images replace read- 
ing, information becomes pollution. 

We need to refocus on what we can learn with 
technology, balancing media literacy with tech- 
no-literacy. We must consider what information 
is (and what it is not) and how it affects political, 
social, and educational institutions. Armed with 
a healthy sense of skepticism, we cannot be daz- 
zled or intimidated by it as we develop compe- 
tence with the multimedia tools. 

Only then can we decide how technol 
ogy can fit into what we do, and how 
we can use it to think and act inde- 
pendently and self-sufficiently 
augmenting human capabilities 
and intellect. With basic con- 
cerns shifted to creativity, inno- 
vation, and discovery, alterna- 
tive ideas and visions can 
thrive, empowering communi- 
ties and independent voices. Our 
survival cannot be linked to blind 
imitations of corporate models in the 
communications environment. There is 
no substitute for the continued development of 
an independent awareness and aesthetic. 



Timothy Gunn 

Executive Director, National Video Resources 

I he mission of National Video Resources 
(NVR) is to assist in the distribution of 
independent film and video. We believe 
the visions expressed in these works are 
important to public discourse in our soci- 
ety. For the first few years of our exis- 
tence (we were established by the Rock- 
efeller Foundation in 1990) our activities 
_ ^ort of this mission centered almost entire- 
ly around the distribution of videocassettes. After 
all, the rapid proliferation of VCRs and 1/2" cas- 
settes had emerged as the "new technology" to 
which independent producers and distributors 
were forced to adapt. 

Today, any number of media-technology 
observers are predicting that the VCR and the 
cassette may soon become technological curiosi- 
ties along with the filmstrip machine. We don't 
agree: If for no other reason than the massive 
base of VCRs already installed in our homes and 
institutions, cassettes will survive as an important 
mode of distribution for years. 

Yet it's undeniable that the media landscape is 
undergoing dramatic changes. Today the revolu- 
tion in viewing habits launched by home video is 
giving way to a telecommunications revolution 
that promises to alter the way information is dis- 
seminated and used. In its most visionary form, 
the future will not simply be about having more 
channels to watch — it will affect how we work, 
play, think, learn, consume, and how we interact 




with one another, our public and private insti- 
tutions. Like the home video revolution, how- 
ever, this new telecommunications system — 
whatever its shape — raises important issues 
about the availability and diversity of view- 
points and the access to the system by informa- 
tion providers and users. 

Against this backdrop of dramatic change, 
NVR has adopted a number of strategies to help 
independent producers and distributors under- 
stand and navigate through the new technology 
production and distribution systems. First, we 
will provide information to the field on chang- 
ing technological, funding, and market opportu- 
nities related to the new technologies, through 
NVR Reports and other publications and semi- 
nars. 

Second, we want to support a market envi- 
ronment in which individual and institutional 
consumers have ready access to material 
produced by independents and dis- 
tributed through the emerging 
technologies. Virtually all the 
projected systems are designed 
to maximize commercial rev- 
enues, an approach that has 
traditionally excluded all but 
the most mass market pro- 
gramming. In the emerging 
consumer media market, oppor- 
tunities for any but the most 
commercial works may not mature 
until after the new technologies are 
fully in place and consumers are ready to 
explore alternative viewing options. There may, 
however, be areas in which independent work 
can be included in early demonstration projects 
used for market tests and, possibly, stake a posi- 
tion on future program menus. 

Finally, we want to work for a public policy 
environment supportive of independent pro- 
duction and distribution. The independent 
community is too small to significantly alter the 
consumer marketplace or the technology for the 
new communication systems, but public policy 
is one area that independents can help shape, 
especially if they form partnerships with the 
larger public interest community which includes 
the educational, civic, and nonprofit sectors. 
NVR will inform the field about any emerging 
policies related to the new delivery systems and 
will work to help form strategic partnerships 
between the independent community and pub- 
lic interest organizations to influence policy on 
issues affecting the field. 



Anthony I Riddle 

Executive Director, Minneapolis 
Telecommunications Network & Chair, 
Alliance for Community Media 

Everything is digital; digital is everything. Any- 
thing reduced to numbers is more easily manip- 
ulated, whether product or people. Image 
manipulation is being brought within reach of 
the independent producer. Computers are used 
not only as a tool for manipulating images, but 
for developing new tools. The tools are being 
miniaturized, improved, and made cheaper. A 
$100 computer has $100,000 worth of effects. 



S 



ANCHOR/ 

NEWS DESK 

SETS 



VIDEO- 
CONFERENCING 



SATEIUTE 
MEDIA TOURS 



CORPORATE 

VIDEOS 

( 

DOCUMENTARIES 

BUSINESS 
TELEVISION 



NTV 

is a division of 

NTV 

International 

Corporation 



CONTACT: 

EtyseRabinowitz 212-489-8390 

NTV STUDIO PRODUCTIONS 

50 ROCKEFELLER PLAZA 

NYC 10020 



Video 



production 

Satellite 
services 




Synch ronicity 
Sound 

Digital Audio Workstation with 
Video & Film Lock up 

Full Sound Track Preparation & 
Editing 

Dialogue, Effects, Music Editing 
& Sound Design 

Digital Production Recording 

Multi-Format Mixing Facility 

Interformat Sound Transfers 

Overnite T.C. Stripes & Window Dubs 

AIVF Member & Student Discount 

611 Broadway, Cable Bldg., Suite 907 H 
New York, NY 10012 

(212) 254-6694 
Fax: (212) 254-5086 



April 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 37 



Technology In the 

service of creativity 





D I T O R I A L 

mmmmm 
mrnm 



SERVICES 
MENT RENTALS 



MMMisl SIMM 

520 East 76th Street 2 1 2.879.9647 
New York City 10021 917.356.5130 




'mmm 



■A 



« 



r 



Sftacam SP field piioduction ■■< 

Gqjrnponent Betacarn SP editing 

IDi'djtal F/X Paint F/X DL graphics 

AVID fNlon-Linear editing 

-**« 3A4 cuts editing 

Mac files to video 

Component HIS transfers 

feetacam SP, 3/4SP, HIS, VHS duplication 

25' x 30' stage 



212.52S.S2D4 

SeKVING ARTISTS 8k IND£PeND£NTS SINCE I986 



,J 



WORLDWIDEVIEWS 




Worldwide Television News® is the definitive 
source for archive and background footage 

of news, sports, personalities, locations, 

history and much more. computerized for 

direct access. any tape format. call for 

all your production requirements. 

1-800-526-1 161 




Wm 



STOCK & ARCHIVE FOOTAGE • INTERNATIONAL NEWS GATHERING • CAMERA CREWS • PRODUCTION FACILITIES • SATELLITE SERVICES 

1995 BROADWAY NEW YORK, NY 10023 Tel: (212) 362-4440 Fax: (212) 496-1269 Copyright 1993 Worldwid'e Television News Corporation 



38 THE INDEPENDENT April 1994 



Mass distribution of means: The miniaturization 
of means will distribute credible production pos- 
sibilities on a mass scale. Desktop production is 
following desktop publishing. Random-access 
editing will be in the $10,000 range within a year. 
This mass distribution of means will make possi- 
ble more personal statements by independent 
producers. As has been seen in cable-access cen- 
ters, the ready availability of cheap production 
tools leads to more experimentation. Take a 
chance — if you fail, what have you lost? 

The image has become more plastic. The inte- 
rior dialogue is overtaking the pseudo-objective 
reality of early film. Events which clearly cannot 
take place in the real world are increasingly 
depicted using digital techniques. Film and video 
imagery takes on the plasticity formerly found 
only in the word. 

However, the same technical forces working 
on the low-end of production operate on the 
upper ends as well. The field will continue to be 
dominated by highly financed studios using ever 
improved technical capabilities to leverage their 
position in the market. Whatever you can do 
technically, they can do better. 

Mass distribution will be affected by mass sys- 
tems: I expect that there will be a huge amount 
of channel capacity available in the new distribu- 
tion system. Most of it will be wasted on con- 
trolled, profit-oriented information, as it is now. 
However, there will be more direct contact with 
audiences by independents than before. Freedom 
will be in abundance, short-lived though it may 
be. 

Independents can take advantage of the situa- 
tion by becoming more familiar with the new 
technology. Go digital. Keep an open mind. The 
new mass markets will be marked by highly seg- 
mented demographics. Communities will be 
identifiable by ideas rather than geographical 
boundaries. Well-targeted works will find audi- 
ences — if they can break through the white 
noise. 

In this sense, the best thing an independent 
can do is stop being so independent; indepen- 
dence in conception, not in action. Groups of 
independents with similar interests must come 
together. First, we must work actively with 
groups like the Alliance for Community Media to 
protect the public's access to new distribution 
systems. Second, we must band together under 
recognizable, marketable banners to provide an 
address for those who need to hear the unique 
voices included in this one-note symphony. 




CINE LABORATORY SERVICES. We use Eastman Products 



NEW ENGLAND'S 
ONLY FULL 
SERVICE 16MM 
LABORATORY. 

35HH B&W NEG WITH PRINT 
35MM COLOR VIDEOPREP 
B&W SUPER 8 Same Day 
AFFORDABLE, QUICK 
AND CONVENIENT. 



278 BABCOCK ST. BOSTON. MA 02215 617-254-7882 





Intensive. Hands-on 

Immersion Programs 



• Film Production 

• 3D Computer Animation 

• Classical Animation 

• Electronic Post-production 

• multimedia 

• Beting fur Film 6 Television 

Vancouver 
Film School 

For detailed information cail: 

1 800 661 4101 





Harmonic 

Ranch 



E S J A B L I S H E D 



9 8 4 



AUDIO FOR VIDEO 

• 

DIGITAL AUDIO 
WORKSTATIONS 

• 

AUTOMATED MIXES 

59 FRANKLIN ST. 
NEW YORK, N. Y. 10013 
212966-3141 



• Time code generation 

• 3/4"SP, Hi8, VHS dubs 

• Window dubs 

• Character generation 




• 3-D Graphic 
design/prod. 

• Mac Graphic design 
Special effects 



CsmBor 

Video Production • Animation 
3/4"SP-Hi8 A-B Roll Amiga 4000 Toaster Edit System 



Top-quality professional productions for 

Absolutely the Best Prices in Town 



Will work with your budget-Call for consultation 

1200 Broadway, Ste. 2B, NY, NY 10001 2 1 2-889- 1 60 1 ~fax~212-889- 1 602 



April 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 39 



In Focus 



K.D.Davis, Barton Weiss, 
& Barbara Hammer 



LIFE IN THE NONLINEAR LANE 

^KFI's JDigitcxl Irxdep^rxcLerxce \X/oir]<shop> 

Sit down, boot up, and enter the digitized topiary gardens of 
Over the Hedge. Click on the woman peeking through the 
shrubs and she'll offer commentary on her newly-trimmed 

suburban lawn. Select from the pom-pom hedges, poodles, 

pyramids, and sombrero-shaped shrubbery on screen and 

you can access a series of digitized video clips. 



HHBHHH 


"§.ip* :;: : ■ : ' 








-=sr 


j i. |t» wfm (1 


\m 




For a good time, click here. The interactive trailer for Over the Hedge offers film clips, 
plus a tour of production expenses, budget overages, invoices (paid and overdue), film fes- 
tival acceptances, distribution contracts, and more. 

Photo: Chris Grampp, courtesy filmmaker 



This interactive digital trailer was 
designed to promote my short documen- 
tary film Over the Hedge. Production time 
for the trailer: about 24 hours. Production 
staff: two people, plus technical support 
from a small group of knowledgeable pro- 
gramming assistants, eager to aid new- 
tech slowpokes like me. 

Over the Hedge was just one of the 
many multimedia projects produced at the 
American Film Institute's (AFI) Advanced 
Technology lab in December during its first 
Digital Independence workshop. For four 
days, 1 5 independent filmmakers sat in a 
quiet circle, backs turned toward one 
another. A bank of Macintosh Quadras, 
color monitors, image digitizers, and com- 
puter workstations lined the walls, consti- 
tuting the virtual playground which, for that 
week, became our production lab and 
thinktank. 

According to Advanced Technology staff 
directors Dana Atchley, Harry Mott, and 
Nick DeMartino, the Digital Independence 
workshop uses the model of the conserva- 
tory to offer a creative and collaborative 
environment in which producers and writers 
at all levels of computer literacy could inter- 
face with digital media. From a pool of sev- 
eral dozen applicants, 1 5 independent film- 
and videomakers were selected from 
around the country for this one-time crash 
course in new technology. There is some 
hope at AFI that the workshop will be 



offered again, but at present nothing has 
been scheduled. 

Documentary producers, animators, 
narrative filmmakers, and experimental 
video artists brought the analog tools of 
their trade. Film and video clips, pho- 
tographs, drawings, texts, and audio mate- 
rials were pulled from bags and boxes, then 
scanned and digitized in preparation for 
their computer manipulation through 
Adobe Photoshop and Premiere software. 

Seated to my right was veteran docu- 
mentarian Les Blank, who brought some 
sample video material from his work-in- 
progress The Maestro: King of the Cowboy 
Artists. Blank had also, admittedly, brought 
a bad case of technophobia. Unfamiliar 
with digital media and nearly computer-illit- 
erate to boot, he was feeling caught in the 
crossdraft as the proverbial winds of tech- 
nological change blew by. When Blank 
heard about AFI's Digital Independence 
program, he thought he would familiarize 
himself with some of these new tools in 
order to expand and revitalize his work. 

Did he get what he wanted? For Blank, 
Photoshop and Premiere seemed reason- 
able tools for documentary work, particu- 
larly in their ability to alleviate some of the 
sheer tedium of postproduction. The 
capacity to perform hundreds of optical 
effects in the desktop editing program 
Premiere — and see the results instanta- 
neously — was one of the main justifications 



Blank offered for continuing to work digi- 
tally. 

However, he expressed little initial enthu- 
siasm for expanding his documentary work 
in the direction of interactive multimedia. 
"If I were a painter," Blank said, "I suspect 
I would want to focus on just one single 
canvas, instead of painting three at the 
same time, with one stacked right on top of 
the next." Nonetheless, he acknowledged 
the potential of interactivity to give users 
the opportunity to explore selected areas of 
interest in greater depth. "I have always 
wanted to find some way to incorporate 
outtakes into my films," Blank confessed. 
Interactive documentaries "might be pretty 
good for those filmmakers who'd rather be 
writing encyclopedias," he deadpanned. 

Although I personally have no great love 
for encyclopedias, at Digital Independence 
I discovered that the interactive form can 
be well-suited for a new type of movie trail- 
er. In my Over the Hedge trailer (pro- 
grammed in MacroMind Director), film 
clips are sampled at will, brought up 
onscreen in a QuickTime video window. 
Other clickable icons offer behind-the- 
scenes information about the film's pro- 
duction and distribution, including a 
slideshow tour of production expenses, 
budget overages, invoices (both paid and 
overdue), film festival acceptances, stacks 
of rejection letters, distribution contracts, 
and press reviews. 

Unlike Blank and me, experimental video 
artists Valerie Soe and Unda Gibson came 
to the Digital Independence program fairly 
Mac-literate. Nonetheless, having been 
economically restricted (like many indepen- 
dents) to cuts-only systems, they were 
pleased to discover the multiple effects 
capabilities of the editing software, which 
permit evocative and powerful scene transi- 
tions. Both artists digitized personal and 
archival source material — footage of a 
cross-country drive, family photos, etc. 
Premiere's capacity to animate and super- 
impose text allowed them to nicely coun- 
terpoint the digitized imagery in their 
pieces. 

On the down side, Gibson expressed 
frustration at the length of time spent wait- 
ing for preview sequences to assemble and 
play (a function of the computers' limited 
memory and storage capacity). There was 
also the matter of the small screen size of 
QuickTime video windows (another memory 
limitation), as well as its inadequate 
sound/image synch capability. 

San Francisco Bay area videomaker Tim 
Blaskovich came to the workshop with trav- 
el footage of China. During his four days at 
AFI, he digitized, arranged, and treated the 
visual sequences, then added narration and 
audio tracks over the imagery. The result 
was a 20-minute, personal, impressionistic 
work. Blaskovich compared his first in- 
depth exploration of nonlinear desktop 
editing to "something like a blend of fin- 



40 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 994 



gerpainting and connect-the-dots" in terms 
of its spontaneity and control. 

Like many low-budget mediamakers, 
Blaskovich, Soe, and Gibson all raised 
important questions about affordable 
access to new media for low-budget pro- 
ducers. This is an issue that not only con- 
cerns the tools of production, but also 
impacts channels of distribution and exhibi- 
tion. Nonetheless, Soe has decided to begin 
an interactive CD-ROM project this year — 
if she can secure access to the necessary 
hardware and software. After Digital 
Independence, new filmmaker and work- 
shop participant Martyne Page remained 
highly ambivalent about making digital 
technologies central to her work. "We like 
to focus on the future, but does that mean 
that we have truly exhausted our old ways 
of working, that the limits of filmmaking 
practice as we know it necessitate this tech- 
nological leap?" Among this group of inde- 
pendent mediamakers it appears the jury is 
still hung. 

K.D. Davis 



COMPLETE BETACAM-SP ON-LINE $99/HR 



m 



rhe primary tool of 
I AFI's digital story- 
telling workshop was 
Adobe Premiere 3.0, 
a video editing pro- 
gram for the 
m -_-.. Macintosh. While the 

cost of the program is 
cheap (about $400), 
it takes a major Mac and lots of 
space on your hard drive in order 
to work. 

Premiere is a stylistic departure 
from most digital nonlinear edit- 
ing systems on the market. Avid 
systems, and all of their imitators, 
use an interface and methodology 
that emulates film and video edit- 
ing: You put shots in bins; you log 
your footage. Premiere, on the 
other hand, works more like most 
Mac programs. It's basically a cut 
and paste approach. You pick 
your shots, assemble them, 
rearrange them if you like, then 
alter them. 

While Avid can perform a limit- 
ed number of effects, they are 
tangential to the heart of the pro- 
gram. Not so with Premiere. This 
creates a different mindset: The 
film/video-trained editor focuses 
on placing the right shot in the 
right place, while the Premiere 
editor focuses on what to do with 
the shots once they are there. To 
the traditional editor, this might 
seem like adding cheesy effects. 
But Premiere is as much an 
image-processing machine as an 
editor. It accommodates 99 chan- 



► Betacam-SP A/B Roll w/EDL Management 

► INTERFORMAT with 3/4"SP / Hi-8 / S-VHS / VHS 

► Digital EFX Switcher / Character Generator 

► Slow-Motion / DMC 

► Color Correction / Wavefrom Monitor 

► Stereo Mixer / DAT, CD, or Cass. Source 

► Experienced Editors 

► SOHO Location / Friendly Staff 

OFF-UNE 3/4", S-VHS, VHS w/TBC & On-Line Discount 
TRANSFERS & WINDOW DUBS w/ TC - A// Formats 
DUPLICATION -All Formats 



Ca mera Packa ges 

BETA-SP, Hi-8, S-VHS, 16MM 

► Lights / Mies / Monitor / Van 

► Cameraman & Crew Avail. 

► Discount on Post 

DIGITAL AUDIO WORKSTATIONS 

► PRO TOOLS & SONIC SOLUTIONS 
Audio for Film/Video Projects 
• Sound Editor w/ Feat. Credit 



* ASK FOR COMPLETE PACKAGE RATE * 



SOLAR PRODUCTIONS 212 925 mo 



530 BROADWAY STt 60G NY NY 10012 



TAKE J± 






VIDEO POST PRODUCTION 



MbinO 



i 



o 




Intro to Multimedia $85 

2-6PM, April 30; May 28 

Desktop Video $190 

Quicktime & Premiere 
7:30- 10 PM, June 1,8, 15 

Macromedia Director $190 

7:30- 10 PM, April 13,20,27 

Audio/Video Sync $190 

7:30 -10 PM, May 4, 11, 18 

Digital Image Processing $190 
7:30- 10 PM, Mar.28, Apr. 4, 11 

and many others. ..call for more info 



Studio PASS , a program of 
Harvestworks. Inc. 



596 Broadway, #602 
NYC 10012 212-431-1130 



BETACAM SP Editing & 
A/B from Hi8 or 3/4 SP 

CALL FOR LOW RATE 



3/4" A/B Roll Editing still 

$45.00/hr with editor 

Addresstrack or audio TC 

Digital Effects, Switcher, GPI, 

Hi Res, Character Generator & 

VIDEO TOASTER 4000 

Animation, 2D & 3D Graphics 



SunRize STUDIO 16 
16 bit Digital Audio Editing 



TC striping, Windowdubs, Copies 

Transfers from HI 8 & S-VHS, Dubs 

Studio & Location shoots 



Tel: 212 219-9240 
Fax: 212 966-5618 



Betacam SP Camera Packages 

The latest Broadcast Camera Packages at great rates 
Sony BVW-400 lightweight Camcorders 

"Hyper- HAD" Chips, Canon 8.5 X 14 Zoom lens w/Matte Box, Sachtler 18 Tripod, 
VA-500 Playback Unit or BVW-35s w/Component 26 Pin Adapter 

Sony BVW-507 Camcorders 

Sachtler 18 Tripod, 8021 Monitor, 
VA-500 Playback Unit 

Sony BVP-7s & BVW 35s 

Sachtler 18 Tripod, 8021 Monitor 

Audio and Lighting Kits 




THE VIDEO TEAM, INC. 

Call (212) 629-8010 



April 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 41 



CODE 16 

16 MM EDGE NUMBERING 

^ Codes Every 16 Frames 

^ Prints on All 16 MM Stock 
Including Polyester 

& Clearest, Easiest to Read 
Numerals Anywhere 

Lowest Prices Anywhere 

Price per ft $.0125 

1000 ft $12.50 

(212)496-1118 



Same day service - 
Weekends & rush hours possible 



262 W. 91 st St. 
NY, NY 10024 

Monday - Friday 10-5 



American 
montage 



Inc. 






\v\ % 



,mV* 



.^ 



, ,^ e 



&> 



rp 



SO 



^k !j t 



avid 

film & video production 

post-production specialists 

film to tape 

quiet midtown stage 

CATERING TO ALL BUDGETS 

voice 751-7784 935-1829 fax 
305 East 47th St., NY, NY 10017 



nels of image overlays, has about 
as many effects as a Video 
Toaster, does ADO-style title 
moves, and has a host of filter 
effects similar to those in Mac 
graphic programs like Adobe 
Photoshop. 

Premiere is as close as you can 
get to future proof because, 
unlike proprietary systems like the 
AVID, it integrates with many 
hardware digitizing packages. This 
means you can easily export the 
video into a host multimedia or 
image-processing software pack- 
age and then import it back to 
Premiere. 

Premiere will undoubtedly 
become the predominant tool for 
both low-end independents and a 
host of people who have never 
worked in media before. The 




important thing here is that any 
change in technology will produce 
a change in aesthetic. This pro- 
gram — and others that will no 
doubt follow in its wake — employs 
a graphically-based editing sys- 
tem. The most successful of the 
projects in the AFI workshop 
mixed text with graphics, often 
using first-person narration. 
Perhaps Premiere will encourage 
the production of this kind of visu- 
ally layered work, more so than 
traditional documentary or narra- 
tive approaches. 

What was most hopeful about 
Digital Independence was seeing 
a new tool that might bring back 
experimental cinema. The joy is 
that, at a relatively inexpensive 
price, artists can have real control 
of their medium. Premiere's low 
cost and intuitive approach may 
also encourage all kinds of video 
novices to jump into the field. This 
could mean a lot of bad video, but 
so many more independents. 

Barton Weiss 



"After Nick 

DeMartino told 

the NAMAC 

conference ast 

June that the 

American Film 

Institute 
wou d be offer- 
ing independent 
mediamakers 
the opportunity 
to be trained in 

digital 

technology, I 

avidly watched 

for the chance 

to apply." 

Once in the Digital Independence workshop, 
the chance to use desktop video — scanning 
and digitizing artwork one moment, editing a 
multiple-layered image and sound text the 
next — was exhilarating. I fek I'd finally found 
the media that matched my working methods. 

In the past, I'd hang 16mm strips of picture 
and sound in a bin and reach intuitively for the 
next piece to lay in. This was akin to an assem- 
bly edit in video, although I could put a shot in 
between (like an insert edit) and, with lots of 
adjusting, make it work. Using Adobe Premiere 
software to make a Quicktime movie, I had 
small icon pictures of my available image bank, 
a second directory of icons for pictures with 
sound, and a third indicating sounds without 
images. Select an icon, and it would immedi- 
ately become a shot in the movie. I could 
repeat, stretch, or shrink the shot, change the 
frame rate, layer 24 sounds below it, choose 
multiple effects, preview, then select or discard 
them — all using my intuitive editing strategy. 
Best of all, it was fun. I could work quickly, try 
out ideas, and make instant decisions. I could 
add images by recording Hi8 images and 



42 THE INDEPENDENT April 1994 



sound, digitizing them, and immediately have 
them to use. 

For my three-minute Quicktime movie, 
meant to be part of an autobiographical fea- 
ture, I first digitized my source material: stills of 
Shirley Temple; Hi8 video shot from a flatbed 
of 1 6mm optically printed film of my parents in 
the thirties; black-and-white stills of me in high 
school; Hi8 video shot that morning of 
Hollywood Boulevard; Shirley Temple's foot- 
and hand-prints at Mann's Chinese Theater; 
and the mirrored elevator and "History of 
Motion Pictures" display at the historic 
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Then, in a deep 
voice for the film's vokeover, I detailed the 
amount of money Shirley Temple was making 
the year I was bom (more than any other living 
female), the number of products named after 
her, and how she single-handedly saved the 
20th Century Fox studio from decline. 

With a more personal voice I recounted how 
my mother took me to a Hollywood audition at 
age 5, having decided that I was definitely as 
cute and talented as Ms. Temple. While, sadly, 
my mother died many years ago, I Finally was 
in Hollywood. At the end of the Quicktime 
movie, I collapsed shots of Shirley and me while 
zooming in on the AFI logo (a star inside a film 
strip) asking, "Am I a star now, Mom?" 

This multilayered three-minute piece was 
put together in two days — one digitizing the 
material (in three hours) and another creating 
the piece. Working with Premiere was so fast 
that I also had time to create a 60-second 
safer-sex spot on the workshop's third day. 

As I raced away from AFI to catch my plane 
back to San Francisco, I wondered if I'd ever 
see my movie again. I didn't even own a 
Macintosh, let alone the top-of-the-line equip- 
ment necessary for playback. Moving images 
still consume an inordinate amount of comput- 
er memory. My three minutes took up so much 
memory tiiat storage required one 44 mg and 
two 105 mg Syquest cartridges. Home for 
three weeks with still no movie to show, I final- 
ly went over to the studio of AFI teacher Dana 
Atchley, who began his own Quicktime home 
movie workshops in March in San Francisco. 
Atchley kindly helped me download Shirley 
Temple and Me from his hard drive to VHS 
video dubs. But, for filmmakers, there's the rub: 
250 video lines of information only. As a film- 
maker who enjoys using multimedia software, 
but who also wants to take advantage of the 
full range of highly-defined and beautiful color 
negative stock, I am sure I'm not alone in want- 
ing a 16mm film transfer output for my cre- 
ative computer work. Please provide. 

Barbara Hammer 

K.D. Davis' works include the films Over the 

Hedge, Best Offer, and an interactive laserdisc 

piece, What's On Your Mind, Buddy? She is 

currently in production with director Jonathan 

Robinson on the film A Dialogue with Society. 

Barton Weiss is an award-winning video/film- 

maker, director of the Dallas Video Festival, 

and a member of the AIVF board. Barbara 

Hammer, also an the AIVF board, toured 

New Zealand last month with Nitrate Kisses 

and is working an a feature autobiography, 

Tender Buttons. 




HI-8 MUST BE TREATED AS CAMERA NEGATIVE 

New York's Most Complete and affordable HI-8 Professionals 

HI- 8 or 3/4" SP to BETA SP or 3/4" SP frame accurate editing 

ON-LINE HI-8 FOR BROADCAST 
TO BETACAM SP (BVW 75) 



TIME CODE INSERTION 

DUBBING TO BETA SP With the Best Drop-out 

Compensation available 

DUBBING TO 3/4"SP WITH TC WINDOW 

COMPLETE PRO HI-8 PRODUCTION PACKAGES 

NEW SONY EVW- 300 with ARRI Fresnel lighting kit 
SONY V 5000 - Portable DAT 

NEW EXPANDED LOCATION WITH 3/4"SP 
OFF- LINE FACILITY 

THANK YOU TO OUR CLIENTS: J.Walter Thompson, Business week, 
^ The Lintas Agency, MTV, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox 5, Time Life, 

i ^^ Antenne 2, RAI, and Independent people like you! 



ARC PICTURES INC. 

666 BROADWAY SUITE 405, NEW YORK. N.Y. 10012 
TEL (212) 982 1101 FAX (212) 982 1168 




MAGE 
LIBRARY 



L. 



mages (or Great Ideas 



STOCK FOOTAGE 




Production ready images 

available in all formats and all 

subjects. Ask us about our 

CD-ROM. Free Catalog. 

LA: tel 1-800-IMAGERY or 81 8/508-1 444 

fax 818/508-1293 
NY: tel 212/686-4900 fax 212/686-4998 

Energy Productions, 1 2700 Ventura Blvd., 4th Foor, Studio City, California 9 1 604 



April 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 43 



Field Reports 



by Michele Shapiro 




As a van full of jet-lagged out-of-towners pulled into 

Valladolid last October for the city's annual film festival, 

Frank Sinatra could be heard crooning over the radio speakers 

that he wanted to wake up in a city that never sleeps. 



As a New Yorker who had captured few 
winks during the lengthy plane ride overseas, 
I found the sequence particularly amusing. 
Little did I know at the time, however, that 
the familiar tune would gain new meaning in 
the week that followed. 

Located about two hours north of Madrid 
in the Castille region of Spain, the city of 
Valladolid, with a population of 350,000, 
plays host each fall to a nine-day, around- 
the-clock fiesta for filmmakers, journalists, 
and a smattering of European buyers, distrib- 
utors, and festival directors. 

More than 500 invited guests flock each 
year to the industrialized city — known both 
for its university and its historical signifi- 
cance as the capital of Spain during the reign 
of Phillip II — to view a variety of short and 
feature films, documentaries, tributes, and 
retrospectives. Many who have attended the 
festival describe it as "well organized" and 
"efficient," words not usually associated with 
a country that shuts down for several hours 
each afternoon while its siesta-relishing 
natives drop out of sight. Unlike larger 
European festivals, Valladolid has no mar- 
ket; instead the 38-year-old festival, held at 
nine venues around the city, focuses on 
exposing cinema-conscious locals to unfa- 
miliar works. Why, then, should U.S. makers 
trek across the Atlantic for the festival? 



Aside from experiencing the unceasing 
Spanish hospitality, makers are attracted by 
the prize money. For a small festival, the pay- 
offs are large: $375,000 (3 million pesetas) to 
the top film in competition and close to 
$70,000 (half a million pesetas) each for Best 
Short and Best Documentary. 

The 300-plus offerings, all of which are 
Spanish premieres, include works from 
Europe, Iran, Latin America, and the U.S. In 
1993, the festival's documentary section fea- 
tured a number of works from the States, 
although most had premiered earlier in the 
year in Berlin or other European festivals. 
Robert Levi's Duke Ellington, Roger 
Weisberg's Road Scholar, Mark Rappaport's 
Rock Hudson's Home Movies and Nina Miles 
and Bill Rosenblum's Liberators: Fighting on 
Two Fronts in World War 11 were among the 
films screened. 

The top documentary prize went to 
French director Nicolas Philibert's Le Pays 
des Sourds, an exploration of deafness. But 
when the festival's jury awarded Liberators 
Honorable Mention, several Canadian and 
European makers who had heard about the 
controversy surrounding the documentary's 
veracity ["Too Little, Too Late? Miles and 
Rosenblum Defend Liberators' Accuracy," 
June 1993] were outraged. They took their 
case to the seven-member international jury, 



which included former Los Angeles Times 
critic Charles Champlin, and urged them to 
rescind the prize. According to the makers, 
the jurors responded they were unaware of 
the controversy and declined to take back 
the honor. 

Unlike the documentary section, the festi- 
val's Seccion Oficial, or Competition, was 
short on independent features from the U.S. 
The commercial Searching for Bobby Fisher 
was the country's sole hope for the festival's 
top honor, the Golden Spike. When asked 
why the U.S. was so poorly represented in 
competition, festival director Fernando Lara 
replied, "The festival received a lot of pro- 
posals from both independents and the 
major studios, but this year there was really 
nothing extraordinary, nothing marvellous." 
During a rare mid-festival interview, Lara 
explained from the marble-and-smoked- 
glass lobby of the four-star Hotel Olid 
Melea — temporary home to visiting film- 
makers and journalists — that he attends the 
Berlin International Film Festival each 
February to scout out new works from the 
U.S. 

Ten of the 15 films in competition were 
Western European, including Peter 
Schroder's Stolen Spring (Denmark), Jean 
Maboeufs Petain (France), and Hans 
Hykelma's Oereg (Netherlands), while the 



44 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 994 



East, like the U.S., had a sole representative: 
Polish director Andrzej Wajda's Perscionek Z 
Orlem W Koronie. If the section was not bal- 
anced in terms of geography, nor was it in 
terms of directorial experience. Newcomers 
like Canadian David Wellington (I Love a 
Man in Uniform) found themselves compet- 
ing for top honors against heavy hitters such 
as the U.K.'s Stephen Frears (The Snapper) 
and Italian Ettore Scola (Mario, Maria e 
Mario) . 

For Robert Boyd, a Canadian living in 
Manhattan whose English-language film 
South of Wawa was screened in competition, 
the event was nerve-wracking. "The audi- 
ence didn't seem to understand what was 
happening. They didn't respond at all to the 
humor in the film." For others, however, the 
screenings were a treat. The stately Teatro 
Calderon, with its red velvet interior and 
prime location in the center of Valladolid's 
old city, added to the festive nature of the 
event, as did the hundreds of university stu- 
dents who, dressed in red and blue uniforms, 
worked as hostesses and translators. 

Several of the features and documentaries 
screened during the festival offered English 
speakers either subtitles or simultaneous 
translation, but, despite the event's billing as 
"international," it catered primarily to 
Spaniards. There were few English-speaking 
filmmakers and journalists present; the small 
group, including Canadian documentarian 




Actress Julie Brown (left) represented Ken Loach's 
Raining Stones at this year's festival. 

Courtesy filmmaker 

Harry Rasky (The War Against the Indians) 
and Dutch filmmaker Marijke JongBloed 
(The Next Step), found each other quickly. 
The press conferences conducted in English 
routinely featured Spanish-speaking transla- 
tors, but the reverse was not the case. 

Created in 1956, Valladolid began as a 
festival of religious cinema then, in later 
years, helped acquaint Spanish audiences 
with directorial legends such as Ingmar 
Bergman, Luis Bufiuel, and Federico Fellini. 
When Fernando Lara, a former film critic, 
took over as festival director in 1984, he 
completely restructured the event to include 
a wider variety of films, including works from 
local film schools. In 1993, Lara organized 
numerous retrospectives, including one on 
Canadian cinema and another on the works 



BETA SP / SVHS / HI8 / ACQUISITION / EDITING 
TWM will beat any legit price for comparable services! 

SHOOTING: IKEGAM I HC 340 w SONY betacam sp top of the line 

B VV-5 : from $300 DAY / 3 CCD S- VHS: BR-S41 1U: from $135 DAY / HI-8 CCD V5000 : $75 DAY 
Optional Audio and Lighting Aces. Price breaks after 2 consecutive days. Wkly Discounts. 

EDITING '. SONY BETA SP- PVW 2000 series w AMIGA- 
VIDEO TOASTER 3.0 - AMILINK , DVE's, Character Gen, Slow or 
Fast Mo , Wave Form Mon, VectorScope.TBC's, Sunrise 16 
stereo digital audio, Stereo mixer . Full Beta SP A/B roll capability. 

- Self Service EDITING at $20 hr component, $25 hr Toaster 3, 
$35 A/B/roll. 

- Full EDITORIAL Services Available 

- Transfers and Window dubs from $30hr. Hi-8, S-VHS, or 3/4" to 
Beta SP. Window dubs to any format. 

- CMX EDL On Line mastering from non - linear EDL's. 

DAY OR NIGHT - EAST60'S LOCATION 





MIND FIELD PRODUCTIONS; 



THE MULTIMEDIA SOURCE 

Macintosh Quadra Graphics, 3D Rendering, 

Interactive Authoring Tools and 

Desktop Publishing 

Video Production 

Still Photography 

at a competitive price 

Park Slope 

Brooklyn, New York 

(718) 398-2805 



We Specialize in Audio/Video Equipment 



msmmmm 

Fast, Easy Qualification To Apply or Request 

No Financial Statements Necessary Additional Information Call 
True Lease or Finance Lease Option Jeff Wetter Today. 

■ FLEX LEASE. Inc. 

■ COMMERCIAL EQUIPMENT FINANCING 



Loans By Phone: 



€99JPLEXL 



April 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 45 



CREATIVE SOLUTIONS... 

For youR post pRoblEMs!! 



WE OFFER 



Professional Super 16, 16 & ?5mm 
Necative Cuttinc 

Editing 16 or ?5mm or transfer to 

tape and edit on the avid media composer 

Award-Winning Creative Editing 



Professional Video Matchback to 
the Avid Media Composer 

Post Production Workshops/Seminars 




A/cr/IT/l/C 25 RivERviEW Terrace 
NtUAIIVb SpRiNqFiEid, MA 01 108 

MATCHERS i -8oo- J 7o-cuts 

(gSf Incorporated (415) 756-2177 

Professional 16/35mm Motion Picture Editing and Conforming 



Video Duplication 

READY NEXT DAY- Mon-Fri 

3/4" U-matJc & 1/2" VHS or Beta II Copies 



FROM 3/4", 1/2" VHS MASTER 
FROM ONE 20 MINUTES 30 MINUTES 
MASTER 3/4" 1/2" 3/4" 1/2" 



Add $25.00 per ONE INCH Master 

60 MINUTES 1/2" VHS/Beta II 
3/4" 1/2" 90 MIN. 120 MIN. 



One Copy $4.00 $4.00 


$6.00 $5.00 


$9.00 $8.00 


$11.00 


$14.00 


2-4 Copies 3.50 3.00 


5.50 4.50 


8.00 6.00 


8.00 


B.00 


5-9 Copies 3.00 2.50 


4.50 3.50 


7.00 5.00 


7.00 


8.00 


10-19 Copies 2.50 2.00 


4.00 3.00 


6.00 4.50 


6.00 


7.00 


1-4 RUSH Dubs. $8.00 


$1 1.00 


$17.00 


$22.00 


$28.00 


TC Burn In $10.00 


$14.00 


$26.00 


Inquire for LABELING 


Window Dubs 5.00 


7.00 


13.00 


& SHRINK WRAP 



PRICES ARE PER COPY- STOCK NOT INCLUDED ASSEMBLY CHARGES ARE ADDITIONAL. 



EQUIPMENT: 3/4" Sony, 1/2" Panasonic 2 ch. industrial recorders and Grass 
Valley & Videotek distributors. Time base correction, optional, with Microtime 
and Tektronix equipment. TITLING & EDITING FACILITIES AVAILABLE 

3/4" & 1/2" EDITING Evenings & 24 Hour Access 
With and Without an Editor Instructions Available 
CHYRON TITLER AVAILABLE 

ONE LIGHT FILM TO TAPE TRANSFERS 
FILM STOCK. VIDEO TAPE. AUDIO TAPE. LEADER & 8UPPLIES 

(212)475-7884 

814 BROADWAY 
NEW YORK, NY 10003 











APS RENTALS. INC. 








Complete 16mm Camera, Dolly, Sound and 
Lighting Packages at Bargain Prices. 

"cut your budget in half by shooting with 
APS RENTALS" 

625 BROADWAY, 10TH FLOOR, NEW YORK 
(212)254-9118 • FAX (212)254-0915 





of Spanish novelist Miguel Delibes. He was, 
however, particularly proud of a tribute to 
Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, who was 
present in Valladolid. "Kiarostami is very 
well known in France," said Lara, "but not at 
all in Spain. I hope this is one of the things 
people remember most about this year's fes- 
tival." 

It will probably be. Another will be the 
wildly spirited natives of Valladolid, whose 
streets are lined with more tapas bars per 
square foot than far larger cities. Most nights 
bands of university students sang and 
laughed outside my hotel window until long 
after sunrise. 

With a budget of $ 1 million, Valladolid is 
far smaller than San Sebastian's annual film 
festival, which has four times the budget. But 
Lara does not view them as competitors. 
"They are very different," he said. "San 
Sebastian focuses more on cinema as indus- 
try. Valladolid has more of a cultural empha- 
sis. We look to discover new directors and 
cinematographers." 

This year's recipient of the festival's 
Golden Spike is a case in point. Serio 
Cabrera's La Estrategia de Caracol (The 
Strategy of the Snail), about a group of evict- 
ed tenants who seek the wisdom of an exiled 
Spanish anarchist, was the only Colombian 
film in competition. The Snapper received 
two prizes: the Silver Spike and the award 
for Best Actress (Tina Kellegher). The Best 
Actor award went to Gian Maria Volonte, 
an Italian film legend, who was also present 
in Valladolid. Several members of the 
Spanish press corps were surprised, however, 
that Volonte, who won the award for his role 
in the Spanish feature Tirana Banderas, did 
not speak a word of their language. Directed 
by Jose Luis Garcia Sanchez, Banderas, about 
a tyrannical dictator (a la Generalissimo 
Francisco Franco) who rules over an imagi- 
nary South American country, was the one 
Spanish film screened in competition. 
Although visually striking, the film offered 
one-dimensional characters and a pre- 
dictable storyline. Far more interesting were 
the films featured in the festival's annual 
Spanish sidebar, including Bigas Luna's 
]amon, ]amon, the story of a spirited woman 
who meets up with an impetuous delivery 
van driver; Fernando Trueba's lavish Belle 
Epoque, about a father's relationship with his 
four daughters during the collapse of the 
Spanish monarchy in 1931; and, a pleasant 
surprise for many festival attendees, 
Manueal Iborra's Orquesta Club Virginia. 
With its quirky narrative style, the film, set 
in the 1960s, centered on a teenage boy's 
relationship with his philandering musician 
father. 

As I boarded the flight after nine days of 
moviegoing, sumptous local seafood and 
grilled meats, and late-night taverna hop- 
ping, I wanted nothing more than to wake 
up in a city that appreciated the value of a 
good night's sleep. 

Michele Shapiro is managing editor of The 
Independent. 



46 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 994 



by Stephen M. Goldstein 




u 



enders: 



oans vs. Limited rartner snips 



lou have just spent six months raising 
I the money you need to begin pro- 
Iduction. You've already written 
the script, worked out the budget, 
and blocked out the production 
schedule. And now, after speaking 
with every friend, contact, and rela- 
tive you have (and some you did not 
know even existed), you have commit- 
ments for funds sufficient to begin film- 
ing. But before you move ahead, there is at 
least one matter that your attorney will insist 
you work out: your deals with investors. The 
following are some typical means of structur- 
ing such deals, along with a discussion of 
points you'll need to consider. 

The most common deal structures fall 
into one of two categories: (1) loans made 
by one or more individuals, or (2) a part- 
nership, either general or limited. Under 
the loan scenario, your investors agree to 
lend specific amounts of money, to be repaid 
with interest, at an agreed-upon date. Under 
a partnership, the investors invest their 
money in exchange for some interest in the 
project, usually represented by a percentage 
of profits generated by the film. Each 
approach has its advantages and disadvan- 
tages. The form you select will depend, in 
large part, on the sophistication of the 
investors and what they demand in return for 
their money. 




Loan Fundiir 



One of the biggest advantages of loan funding 
is that it allows the producer to retain all 
rights to the project. Contrast this with the 
partnership arrangement, under which the 
producer must give up some percentage of 
the profits, or with pre-sales, when the right 
to sell the film in certain markets is sold off. 
The loan funding tradeoff, of course, is that 
lenders expect to be repaid. 

Does this mean the producer must sell the 
family heirlooms if the film is not a success? 
Not necessarily. If the producer or borrower is 
a corporation (as opposed to an individual or 
a partnership), only the corporation's assets 
can be claimed by the investor in the event of 



a loan default. A producer can easily form a 
corporation for less than $1,000 (depending 
on the state in which he or she incorporates) . 

The loan should be documented by a loan 
agreement, which sets forth the terms of the 
loan, and the loan note, which evidences the 
borrower's obligation to repay the loan. The 
agreement need not be complicated; in fact, 
the terms can be incorporated in the note, 
thus eliminating the need for a separate 
agreement. The agreement and/or note 
should set forth the time of repayment and 
the interest rate. In addition, it should 
address the issue of assignability (i.e., 
whether the lender can assign his or her right 
of repayment to another person or entity). 
Keep in mind: you may feel comfortable with 
your investors and may even have an infor- 
mal (though not binding) understanding 
with them that they will not require repay- 
ment if the film is unsuccessful. But without 
a clause prohibiting assignment, the investor 
could sell the note to another person, leaving 
you to deal with a stranger — possibly some- 
one who might not be as forgiving as the 
original investor. 

In negotiating the loan terms, keep in 
mind that at some point you may need to 
borrow additional funds to complete the pro- 



ject. Since a new lender might, as a condi- 
tion to make the loan, demand seniority (the 
right to be paid prior to the original 
lenders), the loan agreement should 
permit you to borrow new funds on 
whatever terms you deem reasonable 
(including terms giving the new 
lender seniority). If your investors 
object to such a clause, an alterna- 
tive would be to grant them the 
right to lend any additional sums 
which may be required. Only if they 
opt not to provide such additional funds 
would you have the right to borrow further 
sums from a new lender under terms giving 
the lender senior rights. 

Other issues to address are the right to 
prepay the loan and which state's law will 
govern the loan agreement. An additional 
item to consider is the timing of the loan. 
Generally the loan agreement or note is 
signed at the time the funds are advanced. 
However, if the money is to be paid over 
time, or only once certain events occur (i.e., 
only when some minimum amount of money 
has been raised, or only if a particular indi- 
vidual agrees to work on the project), the 
parties would need to spell this out. Then, 
only when the money is actually advanced 
would the loan note be signed. 



Funding via Partnership 



While you might prefer to borrow the pro- 
duction money, your investors may not be 
willing to fund the project if their return is 
limited to the repayment of the principal 
plus some agreed-upon rate of interest. 
Rather, they may want to share any of the 
profits the film generates. This typically is 
achieved by the formation of a limited part- 
nership, in which the producer, or some 
entity he or she controls, acts as general 
partner, and the investors purchase interests 
as limited partners. Under such an arrange- 
ment the limited partnership owns rights to 
and produces the film, while the general 
partner (the producer) makes decisions for 
and acts on behalf of the rest. The limited 



April 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 47 



Mercer 

Street 

Sound 



Digital Audio for 
Film and Video 

24 Track Digital 

Original Music 
Sound Effects 
Voice Over and ADR 
3/4" Video Lockup 
MIDI Room 
Protools/Fairlight/ADAT 

Discount rates for independents 

212-966-6794 

133 Mercer St. NYC 10012 



YALE 

LABORATORY, INC. 

1509 NORTH GORDON STREET 

HOLLYWOOD, CA 90028 

213-464-6181 

800-955-YALE 



CUSTOM COLOR 
NEGATIVE SERVICES 

16 COLOR REVERSAL 

16 BW REVERSAL & NEGATIVE 

SUPER EIGHT E-160BW 

SUPER EIGHT IN SALES & RENTALS 

FILM TO VIDEO TRANSFERS 

BETACAM SP 

RUSH SERVICES 
MAIL ORDERS 

MC & VISA 




STREET VIDEO, inc. (212) 594-7530 



HI8 TO BETA COMPONENT EDITING $75 



POST PRODUCTION SERVICES ,E* 5 ,* Pe , to j 

Beta-Beta edit $75 HI8-Beta edit $75 

3/4-3/4 edit $55 HI8-3/4 edit $55 

3/4-3/4 self edit $35 VHS-VHS self edit $10 

Beta-Beta w/HI8 or 3/4 source in 3 machine system w/effects $95 

Amiga character generator pre-session $40 

Amiga character generator in session (in addition to edit) $20 

Miicrogen character generator in session (in addition to edit) $10 

1 hour minimum on all editing services 



TIME CODE SERVICES (Rates per hour, 

Beta Time Code Generation $25 HI8 & 3/4 Time Code Generation 



.$25 



Beta to VHS Burn-in $25 HI8 & 3/4 to VHS Burn-in $25 

1 hour minimun on all timecode services 



PRODUCTION SERVICES (Daily rates/Broadcast) 

Betacam SP E.N.G. package w/crewof two $850 

Pro HI Band 8 E.N.G. package w/crew of two $600 






29TH STREET IS THE BEST! 



partners are, in essence, passive investors 
having little or no say over partnership deci- 
sions. What they are entitled to is a percent- 
age of partnership profits. 

Most of this aspect can be achieved 
through a general partnership. The crucial 
difference is that, in a general partnership, 
all partners are personally liable for partner- 
ship obligations, and generally have a say in 
partnership decisions. In a limited partner- 
ship, limited partners have no authority to 
act on behalf of the partnership, and have no 
risk beyond their investment. Be aware, 
however, that the general partner within a 
limited partnership remains liable for all 
partnership obligations. As a result, many 
general partners are themselves corpora- 
tions. 

Special attention must be paid to the pro- 
visions of the partnership agreement enu- 
merating the powers of the general partner. 
For instance, the right of the general partner 
to admit additional limited partners to raise 
more money must be addressed. Unless 
specifically granted such right in the partner- 
ship agreement, many states (such as New 
York) require the consent of all existing 
partners. Another provision to consider 
including is one granting the limited part- 
ners the right to participate in future pro- 
jects. This is often used to make investments 
more enticing, as it gives investors a sense of 
continuing participation in the producer's 
projects — no doubt an important incentive 
for investment. 

In setting the profit split, partnership 
agreements typically will provide that a 
greater percentage (anywhere from 50 to 99 
percent) goes to the limited partners until 
they are paid back. Thereafter, the amount 
payable to the general partner often increas- 
es. With this system, the investors are 
assured they have priority with respect to 
first distributable profits. 

It the partnership suffers losses in any 
year, each partner, limited and general, will 
be allocated that percentage of losses as is 
provided for in the partnership agreement. 
Before the 1986 tax changes, limited part- 
nerships were often used as tax shelters, 
largely because of their ability to pass 
through tax losses, which often exceeded the 
amount invested. While losses still pass 
through to the partners, the ability to make 
use of them is now limited. The tax rules 
governing this area are complicated, and 
should be reviewed carefully by qualified 
counsel. 

There is a simpler variation of the limited 
partnership agreement. Under this kind of 
agreement, the producer agrees to pay the 
investor some percentage of profits in 
exchange for the investor's funds. The 
investor would not own any interest in the 
project, but would instead have a contractu- 
al right to payment should the film turn a 
profit. Such an agreement has the advantage 
of being easier, and less expensive, to draft 
and typically would not be subject to the 
securities law discussed below. The downside 
for the investor is that the rights granted are 



48 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 994 



likely to be more limited than under a limit- 
ed partnership agreement, and the write-off 
of any losses would be delayed or possibly 
eliminated. Thus, the use of this simpler 
agreement will depend to a great extent on 
its acceptability to the investor. 



Application of Securities Laws 



The sale of limited partnership interests is 
considered to be the sale of a security (i.e., 
an ownership or other interest in an entity 
managed by other individuals). It is, there- 
fore, subject to both federal and state securi- 
ties law. While the general rule is that secu- 
rities must be registered before they can be 
offered for sale, federal securities allow for 
certain exemptions. The one most common- 
ly used is known as Regulation D. While it 
enables the offer and sale of securities with- 
out the onerous registration requirements of 
a public offering, there are still certain rules 
which must be complied with, which vary 
depending on the size of the offering. Among 
these rules are limits on the number of 
investors; the manner in which they may be 
solicited; and the type of information that 
must be provided to potential investors. Also 
integral to a Regulation D offering is the rule 
that the investor can not invest in the limit- 
ed partnership with an intent to resell his or 
her interest. Thus, all investors must agree 
that their interests can not be resold or 
transferred except in limited circumstances. 
In short, they are stuck with their invest- 
ment. 

Complying with Regulation D is not 
always simple, and failure to do so can have 
serious consequences for producers. For 
instance, a producer might unwittingly 
breach the prohibition against advertising by 
seeking investors through an ad in a maga- 
zine. In addition to facing monetary penal- 
ties, the producer might be precluded from 
future use of Regulation D to raise funds. 

The sale of securities is also governed by 
state law. Although most states have exemp- 
tions from registration similar to Regulation 
D, the rules regarding exemptions vary. For 
example, some states require that certain fil- 
ings be made before any interests are sold or 
even offered. Check with an attorney for the 
specifics in your area. 

This discussion of loans and partnerships 
does not by any means exhaust the methods 
by which enterprising producers have raised 
funds for their ventures. While perhaps more 
difficult to arrange, pre-sales are still a viable 
option, particularly when a portion of the 
funding has been raised. Grants and founda- 
tion money also remain a source of funding 
for many producers, although they are not 
easy to obtain in the best of times and have 
become shrinking pots in recent years. And 
so it is that, for purposes of maintaining max- 
imum flexible and control over one's pro- 
jects, loans and partnerships are still the rec- 
ommended options. 

Stephen M. Goldstein 

Stephen M. Goldstein is an entertainment attorney 
practicing in New York City. 



Beta cam SP Component On-Line Editing 

$165/hr 



Includes Editor and Character Generator 

Features: Sony BVE-910 edit controller, GVG-100CV Switcher, 
Slo-Motion, Color Corrector, Otari '//, CD, Audio Cassette 



ALSO AVAILABLE 

Digital Effects: Component ADO- 100 

With 3-D, Digimatte and Image innovator 

Va" SP A/B Roll On-Line Editing 

HI-8 to Betacam SP Transfers 

With TBC (Dub out to Component Betacam) 

%" Off-Line Editing with List Management 



on tack 



IL/IDEO 



(212)645-2040 



Great peals! 



Ule independents haue joined 
together to otter other 
independents the equiptment 
and seruices you need, 
our newly renouated 
suite has: 





16 MM 

• 3/4" to 3/4" 
• Betacam to Betacam 
• AVIDs 



Complete 

Editing Facilities 

Off Uhf Jo ^ 
On im 



Top Editors 



• Betacam SP to Betacam SP 

A/B Roll, Chyron, Digital Effects 



• Start on our 3/4" decks • Fine cut on our 
AVIDs • On line on our Beta SP to Beta SP. 



I saue time and moneyl I 



suite 2410 consortium 330 w. 42nd st 



21-hour 



great uiews! Tel: (212) 947-1417 



EQUIPMENT RENTAL 
W - W • _ ^= Sony CCD VX3 Hi-8 Camcorders 

= H f ^^ H other film/video cameras, tripods, lighting 
W = A_ ~z = and audio equipment also available 

Subsidized rates for qualifying projects 



FILM/VIDEO ARTS 



817 Broadway at 12th Street 
New York City 1 0003 
212/673-9361 



A nonprofit media arts center 



April 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 49 



In & Out of 
Production 



by Mitch Albert 




The controversial photographs of Sally Mann are the subject of Blood Ties, the Academy 
Award nominated documentary by Mark Mori and Steven Cantor. 

© Sally Mann, courtesy Houk Friedman Galley, NYC 



Mark Mori and Steven Cantor's documen- 
tary Blood Ties (30 min., 16mm &. video) 
was screened at Sundance and several other 
fests before receiving an Academy Award 
nomination. The film studies the work of 
photographer Sally Mann. Haunting, com- 
plex, and controversial, Mann's photos 
evoke the soulful, least 'childlike' aspects of 
childhood, with her own children as sub- 
jects. The film features a score by rock poets 
R.E.M. Blood Ties, Mark Mori Media, Box 
29314, Los Angeles, CA 90029; (213) 469- 
1145; fax 9027. 

News from the front: Margaret Bruen's 
The Fourth Green Field (96 min., 16mm) 
documents human rights abuses in British- 
occupied Northern Ireland. Filmed in so- 
called "subversive" neighborhoods, includ- 
ing Belfast, the film contains testimony from 
victims of abuse and commentary by well- 
known activists. The film explores such 
issues as arrest and detention procedures, 
riot control, and shoot-to-kill policies. 
Featured music includes songs by inmates of 
Long Kesh Prison, The Chieftains, and 
Tommy Makem. The Fourth Green Field, 
Canoe Productions, 162 Sixth St., Hoboken, 
NJ; (201) 795-4408. 

Of course, brutality is not limited to the 
British force in Ireland: the police force in 
Chicago has gotten points in that category, 
too. Peter Kuttner, Cyndi Moran, and Eric 



Scholl take a hard look at The End of the 
Nightstick (54 min., VHS). For 20 years, 
the Chicago press and authorities tolerated 
white police commander Jon Burge's 
predilection for torturing African-American 
suspects. Burge's methods included Russian 
Roulette, genital electroshock, and other 
cruelties. Made in conjunction with 
Community TV Network (an organization 
that has provided video production training 
to more than 1,800 minority Chicago youth 
since 1974), the documentary follows years 
of strategy and protest by local activists that 
led to the purge of Burge from the force. The 
End of the Nightstick, Community TV 
Network, 2035 W. Wabansia, Chicago, IL 
60647; (312) 278-8500. 

More Eire with From Shore to Shore (57 
min., VHS), as director and producer 
Patrick Mullins traces the evolution of tradi- 
tional Irish music in New York. The docu- 
mentary mixes historic photographs and film 
footage with contemporary interviews and 
performances. It examines the influence of 
family, community, Irish immigration, and 
American popular culture on the traditional 
Irish music played in New York today. From 
Shore to Shore, Cherry Lane Productions, 
Box 366, Truckee, CA 96160. 

Guess who's coming to lunch? In My 
Lunch with Quentin Crisp (29 min., S-8, 
Hi8 to Beta), June Lang dines with the 



eponymous gentleman in an unscripted, 
unrehearsed encounter. As the champagne 
flows, the 'real Quentin' is brought forth, 
witty, wild, and wonderful. My Lunch with 
Quentin Crisp, June Lang, Tigress 
Productions, 245 W. 51 St. #703, NY, NY 
10019; (212) 977-2634. 

Jerry Falwell announces, "Ronald Reagan 
will appoint four Supreme Court justices — 
and one of them is mine!"; Pat Robertson 
welcomes Oliver North to the 700 Club in 
an overt fundraiser for the Contras. These 
unfortunate scenes from the eighties have 
precedents in the recent past and ante- 
cedents today. In the TV series With God 
on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious 
Right in America, 1960-1992 (projected 
time 6 hrs, video) Calvin Skaggs "chronicles 
the large-scale entry of evangelical 
Christians into mainstream politcal activity." 
According to Skaggs the "culture wars" rag- 
ing in the U.S. today, virtually ignored by the 
mainstream media, have been long brewing. 
The series, still in development, is targeted 
for completion by autumn 1996; the project 
has been met with interest by South 
Carolina ETV. With God on Our Side, 
Lumiere Productions, Inc., 26 W. 17th St., 
8th fl., NY, NY 10011; (212) 807-0796. 

A sad young woman; an extraterrestrial- 
worship cult; apocalyptic messages from 
space; an alien named Sananda: so begins 
Chris Kraus' Gravity & Grace (75 min., 
16mm). Sound like an East Village film? 
Well, that part comes later: the initial envi- 
rons are no less than Auckland, New 
Zealand. When a student named Grace joins 
the cult to await deliverance in the form of a 
UFO that never arrives, her good friend 
Gravity leaves in disgust — for New York. 
There, as the years pass, Gravity becomes a 
failed East Village sculptor. One day a UFO 
appears... Scheduled for completion this 
month, Kraus' film "locates the millenium in 
a female world." Gravity & Grace, 151 
Second Ave., #2A, NY, NY 10003; (212) 
982-5603. 

Diane Garey and Lawrence R. Hott have 
provided an "intimate, sometimes painful, 
often funny" documentary, Tell Me 
Something I Can't Forget (24 min., 16mm 
6k all video formats), on the Chicopee 
Writers' Workshop in Amherst, MA. The 
workshop, an ongoing writing group for low- 
income women, has enabled its participants 
to "bring their lives to light in their own 
words." Tell Me Something 1 Can't Forget, c/o 
Direct Cinema, Ltd., Box 10003, Santa 
Monica, CA; (800) 525-0000. 

What impact have corporate downsizing, 
the transformation into a service economy, 
and the growth of the temporary-help indus- 
try had on the working poor of this country? 
John Gwinn's Are You Disposable? (28 
min., video) explores these issues using 
interviews with temporary laborers and skits 
performed by non-professionals, including 
homeless individuals. Are You Disposable?, 



50 THE INDEPENDENT April 1994 



John Gwinn, Box 7003, Minneapolis, MN 
55407; (612) 8704771. 

An enlightened response to the quest for 
easy solutions: There are none. That's the 
conclusion reached by Deborah Fort and 
Ann Skinner-Jones, producers of The Great 
Divide (60 min., video). The video docu- 
ments the clash over 'right and wrong' in the 
heated debate over Oregon's antigay Ballot 
Measure 9 and Colorado's equally misguided 
Amendment 2. The issue of civil rights for 
gays and lesbians has divided communities, 
families, and friends; no one answer may 
repair the rift, contend Fort and Skinner- 
Jones, because "the situation by its very 
nature necessitates multiple answers." The 
Great Divide, DNA Productions, Box 
22216, Santa Fe, NM 87502-2216; fax: 
(505) 473-6403. 

Therese Svoboda has wondered what we 
would see if TV, like radio, picked up bits of 
images floating around in the video 'snow.' 
In Rogue Transmissions (1 min., 50 sec, 
VHS and 3/4"), a mother screens a tape of 
her dead child and finds out just that. 

Plus, what do you do if spaghetti dribbles 
down your chin? Consult Svoboda's 
Manners Mania (10 min., VHS and 3/4"). 
"Not recommended for children over 30," 
this is a guide that covers the spectrum from 
spaghetti ettiquette to the handshake and 
foreign food rules. Rogue Transmissions and 
Manners Mania, Svoboda/Bull Productions, 
56 Ludlow St., NY, NY 10002; (212) 477- 
3966; fax: 982-3235. 

Yes, Rutger Hauer has a daughter, who is 
alive, well, and playing a junkie in Craig 
Schlattman's At Ground Zero (117 min., 
16mm), which recently premiered at the 
Rotterdam International Film Festival. "A 
nihilistic, existential love story" financed 
guerilla-style (e.g. with limit-testing credit 
cards and 'borrowed' locations), the film 
details the cross-country odyssey of fringe 
dwellers Aysha Hauer and Tom Elliott. At 
Ground Zero, Proletariat Pictures, 1557 
Berkely E, Santa Monica, CA 90404; (310) 
453-0078; fax: 828-5063. 

Final Cut (16 mm), by Rutgers University 
student Michael Manese, offers a lesson in 
nineties prudency for big-budget filmmakers. 
In total, this movie about movies cost about 
$2,000 to produce. The story centers on an 
idealistic film student who learns a great deal 
about himself and his art through the process 
of creating art. Final Cut, Michael Manese, 
209 Hamilton St., New Brunswick, NJ 
08901; (908) 247-7904. 

A short autobiographical film by painter 
Basil Alkazzi, New Seasons & Dreams (21 
min.; 16mm- to-video) offers a highly person- 
al visual journey through the past decade. 
The text for the narration was culled from 
Alkazzi's journal, with added material writ- 
ten specifically for the film. In the last 10 
years, the painter has had 15 one-person 
exhibitions of his work in Europe and the 
U.S. Basil Alkazzi: Seasons & Dreams, 200 E. 
61st St., #28-G, NY, NY 10021; (212) 888- 
1038. 



SOHO 


AVI D 


INEXPENSIVE 
TOP-OF-THE-LINE 
AVID SUITE 

FOR RENT 

• 

A PLEASANT & PRIVATE 

WORK ENVIRONMENT 
IN THE MIDDLE OF SOHO 

• o 
CALL (212) 966 0625 


SO„HO 


AVI 


D 



1 / m -^-_ 

viutui 




Affordable Logging and 

Videotape Editing... 

Automated QuickTime™ 

Movies from your VCR 




Turns your computer into a 

powerful video editing utility. 

Controls consumer, industrial and 

most professional video equipment. 

Supports ViSCA and RS 422 VTRs. 

Infrared control for the record device and 
Head and Tail video Snap-Shots™ with all 
QuickTime™ video boards. Now supports 
Panasonic AG 1970 & 5700 



Wh m ^\ 



14 Ross Avenue, Millie, MA 02054 

(505) 376-3712 Fax (505) 376-3714 

Orders Only - (g>00)28>3-5553 

America Online/key word- Abbate 






D-2 rates start as low as $ 185/hr 
(212) 997-1464 



R.G. VIDEO 

21 West 46th Street New York, NY 10036 




April 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 51 



Festivals 



By Kathryn Bowser 



Call For Entries 




25th 

Sinking Creek 
Film/Video Festival 

35mm, 16mm Film 

& 3/4" U-Matic Video 

All genre: documentary, 

animation, dramatic, and 

experimental. 



DEADLINE MAY 10, 1994 



Festival: featuring seminars, 
special presentations 
and open screenings. 

NOV 8 -13, 1994 

VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY 
NASHVILLE, TN. 

Now accepting Canadian and 
International entries. 

For Entry Forms and 
Registration Procedures: 

Sinking Creek Film/Video Festival 

Meryl Truett, Executive Director 

402 Sarratt Student Center 

Vanderbilt University 

Nashville, TN 37240 

ph. (615) 322-2471 or 322-4234 

FAX (615) 343-8081 



this month's festivals have been compiled by 
kathryn bowser, director of the fivf festival 
bureau. listings do not constitute an 
endorsement. since some details may change 
after the magazine goes to press, we recom- 
mend that you contact the festival for fur- 
ther information before sending preview cas- 
settes, to improve our reliability and make 
this column more beneficial to independents, 
we encourage all film and videomakers to 
contact the fivf festival bureau with person- 
al festival experiences, positive and negative. 

Domestic 

BRECKENRIDGE FESTIVAL OF FILM, Sept. 
22-25, CO. Noncompetitive fest for new ind. 
prods, now in 14th yr. Accepts features, shorts, 
doc, experimental, animated & educational 
films. Program made up of approx. 30 films, 
incl. premieres, retros 6k ind. work. Critics 
Choice Award selected by audience balloting. 
Entry fee: $25. (Entrants responsible for all 
shipping costs.) Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 1/2"; 
preview on cassette. Deadline: June 30. 
Contact: Breckenridge Festival, Box 718, 
Breckenridge, CO 80424; (303) 453-6200. 

CENTRAL FLORIDA FILM AND VIDEO 
FESTIVAL, fall, FL. 12th annual competitive 
fest showcases ind. work of filmmakers & 
media artists. Fest is held at Enzian Theater & 
Orlando Museum of Art. Cats incl. narrative, 
doc, animation, experimental. Cash awards in 
each cat. Entry fees: $15-25. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm, S-8, 3/4", 1/2", Hi8; preview on 1/2". 
Contact: Jason Neff, Central Florida Film 6k 
Video Festival, 15 1/2 N. Eola Dr., #5, 
Orlando, FL 32801; (407) 839-6045. 

CHICAGO UNDERGROUND FILM FESTI- 
VAL, July 29-31, IL. 3-day fest shows films & 
videos by ind. 6k underground filmmakers from 
around country. Several lectures 6k showings 
by guest filmmakers. Prizes awarded to best 
short, feature narrative & doc. Entry fee: $25 
short, $35 feature. Formats: 16mm, super 8, 
3/4", 1/2", Beta, Hi8; preview on 1/2". 
Deadline: May 31. Contact: Jay Bliznick, 
Chicago Underground Film Festival, 2524 N. 
Lincoln Ave., ste. 190, Chicago, IL 60614; 
(312) 862-4182. 

MARGARET MEAD FILM FESTIVAL, Oct. 
12-18, NY. Premiere US fest for anthropologi- 
cal & ethnographic non-fiction film 6k video, 
organized through museum's Education dept. 
1994 themes incl. works on Shamanism, Trans- 
nationalism; emphasis on non-western cul- 
tures, but also incl. works on western commu- 
nities 6k cultures. Selected film- 6k videomak- 
ers will receive certificate of participation 6k 
pass to all fest activities; some titles invited to 
participate in nat'l tour. Entry fee: $30 ind. 
film/video; $15 student; $75 TV /commercial 
film. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2"; pre- 
view on cassette preferred. Deadline: May 1. 
Contact: Elaine Charnov, Margaret Mead Film 
6k Video Festival, American Museum of 
Natural History, Central Park West at 79th St., 
NY, NY 10024-5192; (212) 769-5305; fax: 
5329. 



PXL THIS FOUR VIDEO FESTIVAL, fall, 
LA. Fest features videos shot w/ Fisher-Price 
toy video camera. Submissions must be shot w/ 
PXL 2000 camera 6k entered on VHS video- 
tape at SP-2 hour speed. Entries not returned; 
do not send originals. All cats accepted. Oldest 
fest of kind in world. Deadline: Aug. 22. 
Contact: Gerry Fialka, PXL This, Clap Off 
They Glass Prods., 2427 1/2 Glyndon Ave., 
Venice, CA 90291; (310) 306-7330. 

TERRA NOVA FILM FESTIVAL, May 19-22, 
IL. Sponsored by Terra Nova Films, Chicago- 
based prod. 6k distribution company, which 
specializes in films 6k videos on aging issues. 
Fest seeks "contemporary works that portray 
older adults in positive yet realistic manner." 
No entry fee. Deadline: Apr. 15. Contact: 
Rebekah M. Cowing, Terra Nova Films, Inc., 
9848 S. Winchester Ave., Chicago, IL 60643; 
(312) 881-8491. 

UNIVERSITY FILM AND VIDEO ASSOCI- 
ATION STUDENT FILM & VIDEO FESTI- 
VAL, August, PA. Now in second yr., compet- 
itive fest accepts film 6k video in cats of anima- 
tion, doc, experimental 6k narrative. At least 
$2,000 in prizes awarded. Nat'l tour of selected 
works. All entrants receive copy of UFVA Int'l 
Fest Directory for Students. Premiere fest 
screening will be held at annual UFVA confer- 
ence, this yr in Bozeman, MT. Entry fee: $15, 
$10 for UFVA members. Deadline: May 31 
(postmark). Contact: Dave Kluft, director, 
Dept. of R-T-F, Temple Univ., Philadelphia, 
PA; (800) 499-UFVA; fax: (215) 204-5280. 

WILTON ARTS AND FILM FESTIVAL, May 

13-14, NH. Sponsored by Wilton Business 
Association 6k Artists at Riverview Mill. 
Certificates presented to 3 entries selected by 
fest committee. Works judged on "innovation 
6k ability to communicate." Entry fee: $10 plus 
postpaid return shipping. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm, 1/2" Hi8, 8mm video. Contact: A6kF 
Committee, PO Box 1 184, Wilton, NH 03086- 
1184; (603)654-9321. 

Foreign 

EUROPEAN MEDIA ART FESTIVAL, Sept. 

7-11, Germany. Worldwide event for innova- 
tive experimental film 6k video art accompa- 
nied by video installations 6k interactive pro- 
jects. Seminars, workshops 6k TV projects also 
part of program. Sections incl. New Film 6k 
Video Visions for recent German, European 6k 
int'l prod, in field of experimental film 6k video 
art 6k for related experimental features/docs, 
music video 6k computer animation. Specials 6k 
retros incl, presentaton of (re-)discoveries from 
film history 6k survey of individual countries or 
current social themes. Kunsthalle Dominika- 
nerkirche (art gallery based in deconsecrated 
17th C. church) acts as central venue. Playful 
approaches, experiments w/ technology 6k con- 
templative works are sought. For production of 
1st edition of Multiple-Art-Sampler 1000 
ADD ONE FRAME on CD-ROM, fest is look- 
ing for screened milni dramas in form of short 
videos, interactive art, telematics or hyper- 6k 
multimedia. New section: int'l student forum 
invites students 6k media ed. lecturers to pre- 



52 THE INDEPENDENT April 1994 



sent works on basis of advertised competition. 
Deadline: May 15. Contact: European Media 
Art Festival, Postfach 1861, D-49008 Osna- 
bruck, Germany; tel: 49 05 41 2 16 58; fax: 49 

05 41 2 83 27; e-mail: emaf @ bionic.zer.de. 

RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FORUM 

"ARSENALS," Sept. 19-26, Latvia. 5th int'l 
meeting place for "films of diverse expressions 

6 filmmakers who are working in particular 
language of cinema." Fest features retro pro- 
grams 6k survey on recent film from East 6k 
West in Panorama section. Open Screen called 
"The Arrival of Train" will feature experimen- 
tal 6k avant-garde film. Feature, short, doc, ani- 
mation 6k experimental works accepted, w/o 
genre restrictions. Entries must have been 
completed after Sept. 1992. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm. Deadline: June 1. Contact: Augusts 
Sukuts, director, Int'l Film Forum "Arsenals," 
14, Marstalu St., PO Box 626, Riga LV-1047, 
Latvia; tel: 00 371-2 229552/221620; fax: 00 
371-2-227492/229403. 

ST. PETERSBURG "MESSAGE TO MAN" 
INTERNATIONAL NON-FICTION FILM 
FESTIVAL, June 19-26, Russia. Now in 4th yr, 
fest has changed its dates to June (during 
Russia's white nights). Accepts short 6k fea- 
ture-length docs under 100 min., animation 
under 60 min. 6k short fiction under 60 min. 
Program incl. main competition; out of compe- 
tition 6k special section "Russia Through 
Friend's Eyes" (films about Russia from foreign 
filmmakers). Competition awards cash prizes 
from $l,000-$2,500. Films shown in theaters 
throughout St. Petersburg; fest will coincide w/ 
int'l "Festival of Festivals" feature fiction film 
fest, now in second yr. Entries must have been 
completed after Jan. 1, 1992. Group shipment 
of preselected cassettes will be sent to Russia 
for final selection. Entry fee: $35 (makers of 
full-length features may be responsible for add'l 
shipping charges). Formats: 35mm, 16mm 
only; preview on 1/2". Deadline for submissions 
to US coord: Apr. 29. For info 6k appls, con- 
tact: Anne Borin, US coordinator, c/o Marie 
Nesthus, Donnell Media Center, 20 W. 53rd 
St., NY, NY 10019; (212) 362-3412; fax: 496- 
1090. Fest address: St. Petersburg Int'l 
"Message to Man" Festival, 12 Kaaravannaya 
St., 191011 St. Petersburg, Russia; tel: 011 78 
12 235 2660; 230 2200; fax: 011 78 12 235 
5318;235 3995. 

SAO PAULO INTERNATIONAL SHORT 
FILM FESTIVAL, August, Brazil. Estab. in 
1990, noncompetitive event celebrating 5th yr 
as major stop on int'l short film fest circuit. 
Organized by Museum of Image 6k Sound of 
Sao Paolo (MIS) 6k supported by State Dept. of 
Culture, fest exhibits short work of all genres. 
Fest organizes panoramas of Brazilian 6k Latin 
American prods, as well as special int'l pro- 
grams. (Last yr. featured program of American 
ind. short films, which was sold out every 
evening.) Fest is well attended by local audi- 
ences 6k filmmakers from throughout Latin 
America; program also incl. panel discussions 
6k daily newsletter. Formats: 35mm, 16mm; 
preview on cassette. Deadline: May 20. 
Contact: Zita Carvalhosa, fest dir., Int'l Short 
Film Festival of Sao Paolo, Museu Da Imagem 
e Do Som, Av. Europa 158, 01449 Sao Paolo, 
Brazil; tel: 011 55 11 280 0896; fax: 011 55 11 
282 8074. 



DAVID ROYLE 
PRODUCTIONS 

OFF-LINE 
EDITING 

VHS, 3/4" & AVID 



tfSSg 5 * 



GREAT PRICES 



9 4 7-8433 

330 W. 42nd St. 
NY..N.Y. 10036 



Computerized 
Editing 

3/4" SP 
Betacam SP 

Character Generator 
Hi-8 to Betacam SP dubs 
Beta SP to 3/4" window dubs 

24 hour access 

Rates start at 

$15/hr 




1 123 Broadway, Suite 814 
New York, New York 10010 

212-228-4254 



GLC 



Productions 

1 1 WEEHAWKEN STREET 
GREENWICH VILLAGE, NY 10014 
TELEPHONE 212-691-1038 
FAX 212-691-6864 



Film/Video 



AVID™ SUITES 




RENTALS OR CREATIVE SERVICES 

■ NON-LINEAR OFF-LINE DIGITAL EDITING 

■ LONG OR SHORT FORMATS 

■ INSTANT ACCESS TO HOURS OF FOOTAGE 



Audio 



3 DIGITAL AUDIO SUITES / 24 TRACK ANALOG 



RENTALS OR CREATIVE SERVICES 

■ sound design / sound editing / mixing 

■ adr / sfx / foley 

■ scoring / arranging 

■ live recording 

call 2 1 2-691 -1 038 

FOR BROCHURE / INFORMATION 



GLC FOR POST-PRODUCTION SOLUTIONS 



April 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 53 



Classifieds 



each entry in the classifieds column has a 250- 
character limit (including spaces and punctu- 
ation) and costs $25 per issue. ads exceeding 
this length will be edited. payment must be 
made by check or money order at the time of 
submission. anyone wishing to run a classified 
more than once must pay for each insertion & 
indicate the number of insertions on the sub- 
mitted copy. each classified must be typed, 
double-spaced and worded exactly as it 
should appear. deadlines are the 1st of each 
month, two months prior to the cover date 
(e.g. may 1 for the july issue). make check or 
money order— no cash, please— payable to 
fivf, 625 broadway, 9th fl, ny, ny 10012. 

Buy • Rent • Sell 



16MM ANIMATION STAND rental in 
Queens, NY (Astoria). Special effects & multi- 
plane photography capabilities. Low hourly 
rate, incl. operator. Business/Media Services 
(718) 545-1888. 

FOR SALE: Echo SE/3 switcher w/ chromakey, 
6 B/W studio monitors, 2 X JVC KY 310 cam- 
eras w/ rear controls, 2 X JVC CCUs w/ remote 
cables, IKE brick charger, 4 bricks, 3 trickle 
chargers, Nagra IV-L, Ikegami 730A. Offers. 
Call Eleanor (518) 276-8283. 

FOR SALE: Tektronix 1740 combo Wave- 
form/Vectorscope monitor. Excellent condi- 
tion, $2,500. Sony VO-6800 3/4" portable deck 
w/ CMA-8 power supply & portabrace case. 
Excellent cond. $1,100. Tom (212) 929-2439, 
(201) 667-9894. 

NEW EQUIPMENT. Pricing on Lowell Light, 
AKG, A-T, Bogen, Fostex Systems, 
Sennheiser, Sony TCD5 PROII. Call J. 
Carpenter (CINE) at (814) 333-8672. 

NEW FILM STOCK: 16mm & double 8mm; 
b&w reversal, 50 ASA $8/roll, shipping incl. 
Double 8 on 25' spool. 16mm: lOO'/roll. Reel 
Trading, 149 Main St., E. Hartford, CT 061 18; 
(203) 568-0592 (ph./fax). 

OXBERRY 35MM & 16MM RENTALS in 

Rochester, NY, animation studio. Low com- 
mercial rates for ind. film projects. Fred 
Armstrong or Skip Battaglia (716) 244-6550. 



Noho Office Space for Rent 

Need office or editing space in a prime 

location? 2,000 sq. ft. available in a 

Broadway building (btwn Bleecker and 

Houston) that houses nonprofit film, 

publishing, and environmental groups, 

among others. Space is ideal for a 

share or production offices and can be 

subdivided. Rent is negotiable. Call 

John at (212) 473-3400. 



RUSSIAN 35MM crystal sync camera w/ 18, 
35, 50, 75mm prime, 2 400' mags, 3 200' mags. 
More. Under $7,000. Tripod w/ fluid head. 
Under $3,000. 16mm crystal sync w/ 5.9mm 
fl.8 prime, 12-120 zoom. Much more. Under 
$2,500. Reel Trading (203) 568-0592. 

SONY 3/4" SP PORTABLE VCR VO-8800 w/ 
time code card & Porta-Brace case. Excellent 
condition, low hours $2,100. Call Menachem 
(718) 232-7572. 

SONY EVO-9700 Hi8 editing system $4,200; 
Sony PVM-1380 13" color monitor $320; Sony 
CCD-V5000 Hi8 Pro Camcorder w/ Sony 
LCH-V5000 aluminum carrying case $2,000. 
Call Chris at (612) 929-5215. 

THEY'RE MAKING US SELL our Steenbeck. 
Have to sell beloved 8-plate because we bought 
it w/ government grant. 16mm, 1975, super 
condition. Equinox Films (212) 799-1515. 

Distribution 



AFFABLE DISTRIBUTOR & AIVF member 
seeks quality ind. prods for exclusive worldwide 
distribution. If program is accepted, we will 
send contract in 7 days. Send VHS w/ SASE to 
Chip Taylor Communications, 15 Spollett Dr., 
Derry, NH 03038. 

ALTERNATIVE FILMWORKS, distributor of 
ind. &. experimental films, is always seeking 
new work. Send VHS copy to: Alternative 
Filmworks, Inc., dept. IC, 259 Oakwood Ave., 
State College, PA 16803-1698; (814) 867- 
1528. Incl. SASE for tape return. 

AQUARIUS PRODUCTIONS seeks videos 
on learning disabilities, special ed., holistic 
medicine & coping w/ chronic diseases, among 
other topics. Call/send videos for preview. 
Contact: Leslie Kussman, Aquarius, 35 Main 
St., Wayland, MA 01778; (508) 651-2963. 

ATA TRADING CORP., actively &. success- 
fully distributing ind. prods, for over 50 yrs., 
seeks new programming of all types for world- 
wide distribution into all markets. Contact us 
at (212) 594-6460. 

CINNAMON PRODUCTIONS, 24 yrs. dis- 
tributing ind. prods to educational, home video 
& TV worldwide, seeks new films & videos on 
social/minority concerns, human rights, envi- 
ronment, AIDS, Native Americans, drugs. 19 
Wild Rose Rd., Westport, CT 06880; (203) 
221-0613. 

SEEKING NEW WORKS for educational & 
health-care markets. Fanlight Productions dis- 
tributes films/videos in areas of health, sociolo- 
gy, psychology, etc. Karen McMillen, Fanlight 
Productions, 47 Halifax St., Boston, MA 
02130; (800)937-4113. 

SEEKING NEW WORKS for educational mar- 
kets. Educational Productions distributes 
videos on early childhood education, special 
ed. & parent ed. Contact: Linda Freedman, 
Educational Prods., 7412 SW Beaverton, 
Hillsdale Hwy., Portland, OR 97225; (800) 
950-4949. 



URBAN PRODUCTIONS seeks submissions 
from ind. lesbian & gay film/videomakers for 
public screenings, e.g. cable, network, film fest. 
Poss. distribution. Pis incl. bio & $15 US. All 
video formats accepted. Urban Productions, 
Box 923, Glebe, NSW 2037, Australia. 

VARIED DIRECTIONS INTL, distributors of 
socially important, award-winning programs on 
child abuse, health & women's issues, seeks 
select films/videos. Call Joyce at (800) 888- 
5236 or write: 69 Elm Street, Camden, ME 
04843; fax: (207) 236-4512. 

VISIONARY FILMS seeks shorts by African- 
American filmmakers (30 min. or under) for 
possible dist. Send VHS copy w/ SASE, synop- 
sis & phone number to: Visionary Films, 6230 
Wilshire Blvd., ste.123, LA, CA 90048; (213) 
857-8151. 

Freelancers 



16MM PROD. PACKAGE w/ cinematograph- 
er from $150/day. Crystal- sync camera w/ fluid 
head, Nagra, mikes, Mole/Lowell lights, 
dolly/track, etc. Full 16mm post avail.: editing, 
sound transfer 1/4" to 16 mag (.055/ft). Sound 
mix only $70/hr! Tom (201) 933-6698. 

16MM & 35MM OPTICAL SOUND 
TRACKS! If you want high-quality sound for 
your film, you need high-quality sound nega- 
tives. Contact: Mike Holloway, Optical 
Sound/Chicago, 24 W. Erie, Chicago, IL 60010 
or call (312) 943-1771, (708) 541-8488. 

BETACAM SP cameraman w/ Sony 3-chip 
BVP-70/BVV-5SP, avail, for your project. 
Equip, pkg, DP kit, Sennheiser mics., 5-passen- 
ger van. Audio engineer avail. 3/4" Sony offline 
editing system. Thomas (212) 929-2439, (201) 
667-9894. 

BETACAM SP LOCATION PKG w/ techni- 
cian: $400/day. Incl. lights, mics &. Sachler tri- 
pod. Same but non-SP Beta, 3/4" or Hi8: $300. 
Window dubs, Betacam, Hi8, VHS & 3/4" also 
avail. Electronic Visions (212) 691-0375. 

BETACAM SP-BVW 507 LOCATION PKG: 

Incl. lights, Sachler 20 &. audio pkg. $350/day. 
Crews avail. Betacam to Betacam w/ RM 450 
controller. Off-line editing $45/hour. Window 
dubs, Betacam, VHS, 3/4" &. Hi8 avail. 
Michael (212) 620-0933. 

BETACAM SP cameraman w/ Sony 3-Chip 
BVP-70/BVV-5SP, avail, for your project. 
Equipment pkg, DP kit, Sennheiser mics, 5- 
passenger van. Audio Engineer avail. 3/4" Sony 
off-line editing system. Thomas (212) 929- 
2439 or (201) 667-9894. 

CAMERAMAN: award-winning, sensitive, 
efficient. 10 yrs experience in docs &. industri- 
als, overseas projects. Sony BVW-300A Beta- 
cam SP pkg (highest resolution & sensitivity 
avail.). Rates tailored to project &. budget. Can 
speak some Japanese. Scott (212) 627-1244- 

CINEMATOGRAPHER looking for interest- 
ing projects. Credits incl.: Metropolitan, The 
Night We Never Met & Barcelona. John Thomas 
(201) 783-7360. 



54 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 994 



CINEMATOGRAPHER, owner Aaton Itr 
avail, for challenging projects at very low rates. 
Experimental, doc, narrative film experience. 
Regular & S-16 OK. Kevin Skvorak (212) 229- 
8357. 

C4, BBC AWARD- WINNING doc directors, 
camera team, w/ Aaton pkg; verite, arts, plus 
remote films in Latin America, Himalayas, 
Asia, Arctic, Europe. Americans based in 
Britain, speak Spanish; will work in video. 011- 
44-494-675842 (ph./fax). 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ awards, 
talent &. experience. Credits incl. features, 
commercials, industrials, docs, shorts & music 
videos. Owner of Aaton 16mm/super 16 pkg. 
35mm pkg also avail. Call for my reel. Bob 
(212) 741-2189. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Experien- 
ced, award-winning cinematographer w/ 16mm 
Aaton pkg avail, for interesting &. challenging 
projects. Feature, doc, or short subject form. 
Reasonable rates. Call Moshe (212) 505-1769. 

DP/STEADICAM ARTIST w/ 16SR, 35BL, 
superspeed lenses, 3-chip camera & BVU 150 
deck sound equipment, lighting, van. Passport. 
Certified Scuba diver, French, little Spanish. 
Features, commercials, music videos. Call Mick 

(212) 929-7728. 

ENTERTAINMENT LAWYER: Former AIVF 
executive director & founding chair of ITVS 
has returned to legal practice. Have your pro- 
ject represented by lawyer w/ in-depth under- 
standing of ind. prod., financing, distribution & 
public TV. Reasonable rates. Call Lawrence 
Sapadin (718) 768-4142. 

EXPERIENCED DIRECTOR OF PHOTOG- 
RAPHY w/ Arri 16 SR pkg. & Mole 
Richardson lighting pkg. Seeks interesting film 
projects in feature or short-subject form. Very 
reasonable rates for new directors & screen- 
writers. (212) 737-6815; fax: 423-1125. 

FILM & TV JOBS. Nat'l listings. Professional, 
technical & prod. Published 2x/mo. 6 
issues/$35, 12/$60, 22/$95. Send check/m.o.: 
Entertainment Employment Journal, 7095 Holly- 
wood Blvd. #815, Hollywood, CA 90028; 

(213) 969-8500. 

ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY, frequent 
contributor to "Legal Brief column in The 
Independent &. other magazines, offers legal ser- 
vices to film/video community on development 
thru distribution. Reasonable rates. Contact 
Robert L. Siegel, Esq. (212) 545-9085. 

FOR DOC ON JACOB RES now in prod., 
seeking interview we heard was shot in early 
1980s w/ Riis' grandson. Also seeking any other 
related footage. Contact Marty or Debra (914) 
478-1900. 

GROW YOUR BUSINESS: Business Strategy 
Seminar offers 10- wk. strategy &. support 
groups for entrepreneurs. Small-business own- 
ers challenge you to focus your energy &. 
expand your horizons. Immediate results. For 
info, call Katherine Crowley (212) 481-7075. 

NEED ORIGINAL MUSIC for your prod.? 
Experienced Juilliard M.M.A. graduate is look- 



ing to score features 6k docs. Fee negotiable. 
Contact: Jose Herring, 408 W. 51 St., #203, 
NY, NY 10019; (212) 307-7976. 

SCORE! Your film that is. Resourceful, inex- 
pensive professional composer. Features, 
shorts, docs, commercials, industrials, corpo- 
rate pieces done w/ style & finesse. Call Jack for 
appointment or demo tape at (212) 995-0760. 

SOUND MAN w/ own equipment & experi- 
ence working w/ Hi8 video needed for video- 
to-film transferred direct to video feature. Must 
be NY Tri State area-based. Call John (718) 
389-9871. 

STEADICAM for film & video. Special rates 
for inds. Call Sergei Franklin (212) 228-4254. 

TOP-CREDIT DIRECTOR OF PHOTOG- 
RAPHY, West Coast: operator on major 
motion pictures/DP on lower budgets seeks hip 
projects. Self-owned 16mm & Betacam SP 
prod, packages; 35mm avail. Award winner, 
visionary. Reasonable. Call John (213) 656- 
3550. 

VIDEOGRAPHER w/ own Hi8 camera needed 
for video-to-film transferred direct to video fea- 
ture. Must be NY Tri State area-based. Call 
John (718) 389-9871. 

VIDEO TOASTER DRIVING INSTRUC- 
TOR. One-on-one or group instruction. 
Novice Toaster users welcome. Intermediate 
users: Hire me & discover tips, tricks & short- 
cuts. Master the slice of your choice & have 
fun doing it! NY area. Mike Smith (212) 228- 
7585. 



Preproduction 

40 ACRES & A MULE Filmworks accepting 
scripts. Send screenplays to 40 Acres Develop- 
ment, 8 Felix St., Brooklyn, NY 11217. Scripts 
must be registered w/ Writers' Guild or copy- 
righted w/ Library of Congress. Enclose SASE. 

ABIGAIL MCGRATH, INC. needs interns 
(unpaid) for casting office & upcoming feature 
film. Fax resume to (212) 768-3279 or call 
(212) 768-3277. 

ATTN SCREENWRITERS: New prod, com- 
pany seeks screenplays for low-budget, full- 
length features. Send scripts w/ SASE to: Bored 
of Trade Films, Box 577429, Chicago, IL 
60657. 

AWARD-WINNING PRODUCER/DIREC- 
TOR seeks scripts. Drama, romantic/black 
comedy, sexy thriller. Low- & medium-budget. 
No sci-fi or horror. Financing ready. Send 
WGA-registered scripts to: Sweeney Film, 
2431 3rd St., ste. 10, Santa Monica, CA 90405; 
(310)396-2115. 

CREW & CAST needed for no-budget, 16mm, 
30-min. narrative film. Shooting tentatively 
scheduled for May. Contact J. Zhivago, 180 
Sterling PI. #3, Brooklyn, NY 11238. 

FLAN DE COCO FILMS announces nation- 
wide search for new writers. We are young ind. 
prod, company looking for undiscovered talent 
to collaborate w/ on development of features. 



WHEN IT COMES TO 



WE ARE 

THEEXPERTSI 




NEW YORK 

420 LEXINGTON AVENUE 

NEW YORK, N.Y. 10170-0199 

TEL: (212) 867-3550 • FAX: (212) 983-6483 

JOLYON F. STERN, President 

CAROL A. BRESSI, Manager 
Entertainment & Media Division 

LOS ANGELES 

1 1365 VENTURA BOULEVARD 

STUDIO CITY, CA 91604 

TEL: (818) 763-9365 • FAX: (818) 762-2242 

JERRY VANDE SANDE • BILL HUDSON 



AFFILIATES IN: LONDON • PARIS • MUNICH 




Video Viewing 
1/2 & 3/4 Video Editing 
Video Cassette Duplication 
Film to Tape Transfers 
Slides to Tape Transfers 
16mm Projector Rental 
S-8 Processing 



Machine Cleaned,' Optically Tested, & 

GUARANTEED FOR MASTERING 

3/4" Used Video Cassettes 

NEW, MAJOR BRAND VIDEO CASSETTES 
AT DISCOUNT PRICES 



RAFIK 



(212)475-7884 



April 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 55 



GREAT RESOURCE BOOHS FROM FIVF 

ORDER TQDHV — SUPPLIES RRE LIMITED! 



AIVF Guide to International Film & Video Festivals 

by Kathryn Bowser 

published by FIVF 

238 pages, $29.95/524.95 member price 

The 3rd edition of FIVF's bestseller is a completely indexed and easy-to-read 
compendium of over 600 international film and video festivals, with contact 
information, entry regulations, dates and deadlines, categories, accepted 
formats, and much more. The Guide includes information on all types of 
festivals: small and large, specialized and general, domestic and foreign. 

An important reference source which belongs in the library of every media 
professional: independent producers, distributors, festival directors, 
programmers, curators, exhibitors. 







AIVF Guide to Film and Video Distributors 

A Publication of the Foundation for Independent Video and Film 

edited by Kathryn Bowser 

184 pages, $19.50 

A must-read for independent film and video-makers searching for the right distributor. The 
AIVF Guide to Film and Video Distributors presents handy profiles of over 150 commercial 
and nonprofit distributors, practical information and company statistics on the type of work 
handled, primary markets, relations with producers, marketing and promotion, foreign 
distribution and contacts. Fully indexed, with additional contact lists of cable/satellite 
services and public television outlets, as well as a bibliography. This is the best 
compendium of distribution and information especially tailored for independent 
producers available. 



Alternative Visions 

Distributing Independent Video in a Home Video World 

by Debra Franco 

a co-publication of AFI and FIVF, 181 pages 

$i2.95/$9.95 AIVF and AFI member price 

Video cassettes and video stores have changed forever the economics of distribution for al 
moving image media — including alternative films and tapes. What has happened to 
institutional markets? What promise does home video distribution really hold for non- 
mainstream work? Chapters cover selling to schools, libraries, and individual consumers. 
Includes detailed case studies of the marketing of eight independent works. 
Essential reading for anyone with an interest in home video distribution. 




SEE ORDER C R R FOR ORDERING INFORMATION 



56 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 994 



The Association 
of Independent 
Video and 
Filmmakers 



IZ&teftfo o£ 'TH&H&enaAcfb 



THE INDEPENDENT 

Membership provides you with a year's 
subscription to The Independent. 
Published 10 times a year, each issue 
includes festival listings, funding 
deadlines, exhibition venues, and 
more. Plus, you'll find thought- 
provoking features, news, and regular 
columns on business, technical, and 
legal matters. And special issues that 
highlight regional activity and focus on 
subjects such as media education and 
tthe new technologies. 

FESTIVAL BUREAU SERVICES 

ATVF maintains up-to-date information 
on over 650 national and international 
festivals, and can help you determine 
which are right for your film or 
video. We also work directly with many 
foreign festivals, in some cases collect- 
ing and shipping tapes or prints 
overseas, or serving as the U.S. host to 
visiting festival directors. 

1INFORMATION SERVICES 

In person or over the phone, ATVF can 
provide information about distributors, 
festivals, and general information 
pertinent to the field. Our library 
houses information on everything from 
distributors to sample contracts to 
budgets. 

NETWORKING 

Membership allows you to join fellow 
ATVF members at intimate events 
featuring festival directors, producers, 
distributors, and hinders. 



wHien you join the Association of Independent Video and 
Filmmakers, you're doing something for yourself — and for 
others. Membership entitles you to a wide range of benefits. 
Plus, it connects you with a national network of independent 
producers. Adding your voice helps us all. The stronger AIVF 
is, the more we can act as advocate for the interests of inde- 
pendents like yourself — inside the corridors of Washington, 

with the press, and with others who affect our livelihoods. 
JOIN AIVF TODAY! 



ADVOCACY 

Whether it's freedom of expression, 
public funding, public TV, contractual 
agreements, cable legislation, or other 
issues that affect independents, AIVF 
is there working for you. 

DISCOUNTED BOOKS 

We have a large inventory of media 
books, as well as publishing our own 
titles on festivals, distribution, and 
foreign production resources. Members 
receive substantial discounts. 



ACCESS TO INSURANCE 

Membership makes you eligible to 
purchase health, disability, and life 
insurance, a dental plan and liability 
insurance through ATVF suppliers. 

SERVICE DISCOUNTS 

Discounts on equipment rentals, 
processing, editing, and other produc- 
tion necessities are available. 

SEMINARS 

Seminars explore business, aesthetic, 
legal, and technical topics, and offer a 
chance to meet other makers. 



AIVF 

625 Broadway 
9th floor 
New York, NY 
10012 




DOES YOUR LIBRARY HAVE THE INDEPENDENT? 

Take this coupon to your school or public librarian 
and request a subscription today! 



FILM & VIDEO MONTHLY 

tVOEPENXW 

LIBRARY SUBSCRIPTION COUPON 

•10 issues/yr 

•ISSN 0731-0589 

•Vol. 16 (1993) 

•Published by the Association of Independent Video & Filmmakers 

•Library, $75 ($90 outside North America) 

ORDER The Independent from: 

ATVF, 625 Broadway, 9th fl., New York, NY 10012; (212) 473-3400. 

EBSCO: (205) 991-6600; fax (205) 991-1479. 

FAXON (US): (800) 283-2966; (CAN): (519) 472-1005; fax 472-1072. 



Join ATVF today and get a one-year subscription to The Independent. 

Foreign Surface Rates 



Membership Rates 

(Canada, Mexico, US, PR) 

□ $25/student (enclose copy of 

student ID) 

□ $45/individual 

□ $75/library 

□ $100/nonprofit organization 

□ $150/business & industry 

□ Add $18 for 1st class mailing 



(Outside North America) 

□ $40/student (enclose copy of 

student ID) 

□ $60/individual 

□ $90/library 

□ $1 15/nonpro fit organization 

□ $165/business & industry 

J Add $40 for foreign air mail 



BOOKS FOR SALE 



□ The AIVF Guide to International 
Film & Video Festivals ($29.95/ 

$24.95 member price) 



The ATVF Guide to Film & Video 
Distributors ($19.50) 

Alternative Visions ($12.95/$9.95 
ATVF or AFI members) 



Name 



Organization 

Address 

City 

State 



Zip 



Country _ 
Telephone 



Professional Status (e.g., dir.) 



Enclosed is my check or money order. 
Or, please bill my: □ Visa 

_) Mastercard 

ACCOUNT # 
EXPIRATION DATE 
SIGNATURE 

Charge by phone: (212) 473-3400. 



92 



(kin /4W? 7<xUy m 

Five thousand members strong, 
the Association of Independent 
Video and Filmmakers has been 
working for independent produc- 
ers — providing information, fight- 
ing for artists' rights, securing 
funding, negotiating discounts, 
and offering group insurance 
plans. Join our growing roster. 



MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES 

Individual membership 

1 issues of The Independent 
Access to all plans and discounts 
Festival/Distribution/Library services 
Information services 
Discounted admission to seminars 
Tape and publication discounts 
Advocacy campaign participation 
Free Motion Picture Enterprises Guide 
Voting and running for office on boarc 
of directors 

Student membership 

All the benefits of individual 
membership except voting & running 
for board of directors and health, life, 
disability insurance eligibility 

Library membership 

10 issues of The Independent 

Festival/Distribution/Library services 

Information services 

Free MPE Guide 

PLUS: Special notice of upcoming 

publications 

Nonprofit Organizational membershii 

All the benefits of individual 
membership except voting & running 
for board of directors 
PLUS: Includes up to 3 individuals 

Business/Industry membership 

All the benefits of individual 

membership except voting & running 

for board of directors 

PLUS: Special mention in The 

Independent 

Includes up to 3 individuals 



M^^^HHHHHHIH 




Accepting submissions in any form (screen- 
plays, plays, short stories, etc.). Send to: Flan 
de Coco, Box 93032, Los Angeles, CA 90093. 

IND. PRODUCER seeking footage of Jihad in 
Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Hamas, & other 
Mid-East fundamentalism. Call Joseph (202) 
363-8602. 

PROD. COMPANY seeks scripts for docs of 
varied interests. Tudor Productions, 409 
Washington St., ste. 181, Hoboken, NJ 07030; 
(201) 659-5155. 

SCREENPLAY CONTESTS (all 35 of them) 
offer $1.4 million in cash, recognition, publici- 
ty, representation, fellowships, etc. Do not 
ignore this route to success. For info on com- 
prehensive screenplay contest book: Writer's 
Aide, 1685 So. Colorado Blvd., Box 237-C, 
Denver, CO 80222. 

SHOOTING IN ROCKY MT. WEST? 

Producing, prod, management, & location sup- 
port for features, docs., commercials & PSAs at 
all budget levels in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, 
Utah, Colorado & New Mexico. Call Hunter 
Neil Company (406) 585-7414. 

SCREENPLAY DOCTOR & MOVIE 
MECHANIC. Professional story editors/post- 
prod, specialists will analyze your screenplay or 
treatment &. evaluate your film-in-progress. 
Major studio & ind. background. Reasonable 
rates. Call (212) 219-9224. 



P0STPR0DUCTI0N 

3/4" OFFLINE EDITING w/ time code. 
Delivered & set up in your place. Sony 
9800/9850 w/ RM 450. Time code reader/gen- 
erator, mixer, monitors, etc. Call for rates. The 
Post Masters (212) 951-0863 (beeper); (908) 
755-9008 (humans). 

3/4" SONY OFFLINE SYSTEM delivered to 
you & installed: 5850, 5800, RM 440, 2 moni- 
tors $500/wk., $1600/mo. Delivery & installa- 
tion incl. Equip, clean & professionally main- 
tained. Thomas, (212) 929-2439, (201) 667- 
9894. 

16MM SOUND MLX only $70/hr! Fully 
equipped mix studio for features, shorts, docs. 
Bring in your cut 16mm tracks, walk out w/ 
final mix. 16mm xfers also avail, from 1/4" 
dailies, music, or SFX. (Only .055/ft. incl. 
stock.) Call Tom (201) 933-6698. 

16MM EDITING ROOM, great location, low 
rates. Fully equipped w/ 6-plate Steenbeck, 24- 
hr. access, in East Village, safe &. clean bldg. 
Daily, weekly, or monthly rentals. Call Su at 
(212) 475-7186 or (212) 431-1399. 

16MM CUTTING ROOMS: 8-plate & 6-plate 
fully equipped rooms, sound-transfer facilities, 
24-hr. access. Downtown, near all subways & 
Canal St. Reasonable rates. (212) 925-1500. 

AVIDPROP: incl. AVID 5.03 (4000 model); 
AVR l-6e, 12 gigabytes storage; Sony UVW 
1800 Beta SP deck; Sony U-matic 9800 3/4" SP 
deck, phone, large space, 24-hr. access & secu- 
rity/7 days. K-Video, 611 Broadway, ste. 714, 



NYC 10012; (212) 228-9102; fax: 475-9363. 

BRODSKY & TREADWAY: S-8 & regular 
8mm film-to-video masters, scene -by-scene to 
1" &. Betacam. By appointment only. (508) 
948-7985. 

EDIT YOUR FILM or make your reel for less. 
Off-line video editing at 21st St. &. 5th Ave. 
Well-maintained 3/4" & video edit system, CD 
& cassette w/ mixer, T.C. generator, fax, 
phone, 24 hrs; $125/day, $575/week. Hourly 
rates. Red Barn Films: (212) 982-6900. 

MEDIA 100 nonlinear online editor. Bdcst 
quality (Beta SP) or EDL +FX: blue screen, 
compositing, 3D animation & CD-quality 
sound. $75/hr w/ editor. Aaton 16mm rental & 
experienced DP. Clients: MTV, Fox, Features. 
Call Bird Dog Pictures (213) 549-0763. 

NEW 3/4" SP SONY OFFLINE system: 9850, 
9800, 450 w/ digital EFX Panasonic WJ-MX50, 
6-channel sound mixing. Delivered to you or 
edit in-house. Hi8 & VHS transfers, CD, 1/4" 
audiotape to 3/4", S-8 camera &. editing also 
avail. Internships possible. Girls Make Videos 
(212) 757-5013. 

NONLINEAR EDITING: Full postprod. Edit 
picture & sound. Student & non-commercial 
rates avail. Call Stephan at (212) 206-0008. 

YOUR PLACE OR MINE? Beta SP Edit sys- 
tem w/ Sony 910 controller: $2,000/wk. Sony 
3/4" deluxe off-line w/ Convergence Super 
90+: $500/wk. Studio in CT w/ guest room or 
delivery for fee. Sony BVW 50 Beta SP field 
deck $175/day. Editors avail. (203) 227-8569. 



HUEY DEWEY & LOUIE 




The greatest characters in history are a phone call away at Archive Films and Archive Photos. More than 9,000 hours of 
historical stock footage and 20,000,000 historical photos now available. Call or fax for free brochures and a sample reel. 



Archive Films 



Archive Photos 



Stock Footage Library 

800/876-5115 

212/620-3955 Fax 212/645-2137 



Stock Photo Library 

800/888-7717 

212/675-0115 Fax 212/675-0379 



Shots you won't find everywhere else. 

Dept FV, 530 West 25th Street, New York, New York 10001 



April 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 57 



Notices 



NOTICES ARE LISTED FREE OF CHARGE. AIVF MEM- 
BERS AND NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS RECEIVE 
FIRST PRIORITY; OTHERS ARE INCLUDED AS SPACE 
PERMITS. THE INDEPENDENT RESERVES THE RIGHT 
TO EDIT FOR LENGTH. DEADLINES FOR NOTICES WILL 
BE RESPECTED. THESE ARE THE 1ST OF THE MONTH, 
TWO MONTHS PRIOR TO COVER DATE (E.G., MAY 1 FOR 
THE JULY ISSUE.) PLEASE NOTE NEW DEADLINE. SEND 
TO: INDEPENDENT NOTICES, FIVF, 625 BROADWAY, NY, 
NY 10012. 

Conferences • Seminars 

BAY AREA VIDEO COALITION offers class- 
es in advanced A/B roll & control track edit- 
ing, Quicktime, Hi8 & edit aesthetics begin- 
ning in April. Contact: Anne Etheridge (425) 
861-3282. 

CENTER FOR NEW TV in Chicago offers 
workshops in all aspects of beginning 6k inter- 
mediate video prod., multimedia & telecom- 
puting. Taught by professionals in the video 
arts. For more info, call: (312) 951-6868. 

FILM ARTS FOUNDATION offers ongoing 
workshops & seminars covering wide range of 
topics, from 16mm film & video prod, to 
fundraising, distribution, screenwriting, special 
effects 6k guest lectures. Technical workshops 
are small, hands-on; all taught by professionals 
in field. For info, contact: FAF, 346 Ninth St., 
2nd fl., San Francisco, CA 94103; (914) 552- 
8760. 

GROUP CREATIVITY, nonprofit based in 
NY, is running one-day workshop about improv 
moviemaking. Beginning Sunday, April 10 for 
10 weeks. Two work scholarships avail. 
Curriculum focuses on improv video movie for- 
mat. Cost: $175. For info, call: David Lutzer 
(212) 727-2825. 

HARVESTWORKS in Manhattan offers class- 
es in subjects ranging from audio/video syn- 
chronization to multimedia prod. 6k audio pre- 
prod. All classes (1-2 days) held at 596 
Broadway, NY, NY. To register, call: John 
McGeehan (212) 431-1130. 

JEWISH MUSEUM in NYC sponsors sympo- 
sium 6k screening series entitled "Red 
Channels: Blacklisting and the Media" through 
June 7. April 5 at 6:30 p.m., topic is "1950s 
Film" w/ speaker Jonathan Resenbaum of 
Chicago Reader; May 24 at 6:30 p.m., topic is 
"The Lenny Bruce Trials" w/ Jack Salzman, 
Director, Center for American Culture 
Studies, Columbia University. For more info on 
these and other symposia in program, call (212) 
423-3234. 

REPLITECH INTERNATIONAL, 3-day con- 
ference 6k expo for duplicators 6k replicators of 
video & audio tape, optical & floppy disks, will 
be held June 14-16 at Santa Clara Convention 
Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more info, call: 
Benita Roumanis, Knowledge Industry 
Publications, Inc. (914) 328-9157. 

SHOWBIZ EXPO WEST, June 11-13 at LA. 

Convention Center, will host 225 exhibitors 
(including NBC Enterprises, Universal City 



Studio & Arriflex). Over 45 industry-driven 
panels will cover film, corporate video, tech- 
nology 6k theater. To attend or exhibit, call 
Live Time, Inc. (213) 668-1811. 

VIDEO EXPO/IMAGE WORLD, expo & sem- 
inar program for video prod., computer anima- 
tion, graphics, multimedia presentation, digital 
imaging 6k prepress imaging professionals, will 
be held April 25-29 at the ExpoCenter in 
Chicago & Sept. 19-23 at Jacob Javits 
Convention Center in NYC. For more info, 
call: Janet Vargas, Knowledge Industry 
Publications, Inc. (914) 328-9157. 

VTDEOMAKER EXPO, focusing on tools & 
techniques of video prod., will run from April 
21-23 at Meadowlands Convention Center, 
Secaucus, NJ. For info, contact: Chris Thomas 
(916) 891-8410. 

WOMEN MAKE MOVIES is holding spring 
media workshops in basic video prod. & how to 
become DP. Through May. For more info, con- 
tact: Dorothy Thigpen (212) 925-0606. 



Films • Tapes Wanted 

2 1ST CENTURY, live interactive variety show 
on WMFP Boston, seeks videotapes of 5 min. 
or less that interact w/ show's text. For more 
info, contact: Richard Washbourne (415) 587- 
2296 or (415) 241-0664. 

ALIVE TV is now accepting submissions of 
new films & videos. Experimental films, perfor- 
mance pieces, animation, narrative, shorts 6k 
essay works unique in content or style desired. 
Preference placed on work under 1/2 hr. Alive 
TV tries to be wake-up call to mainstream 
media (6k PBS). Please watch program on local 
PBS station & only submit work that seems in 
sync w/ our goals. Help us survive as 1 of last 
non-mainstream programs on network TV. 
Send work on 1/2" or 3/4" w/ filmmaker's bio 6k 
film bio (awards, distributors, etc.) to: Neil 
Sieling, exec, producer, Alive TV, KTCA, 172 
E. 4th St., St. Paul, MN 55101. 

ART IN GENERAL seeks works in all visual 
media for exhibitions/installations for 1994- 
1995 season. Submit resume, entry form 6k 
SASE. For more info, contact: Art in General, 
79 Walker St., NY, NY 10013; (212) 219- 
0473. 

ART ON FILM DATABASE wants to know: 
Have you produced a film, video or video disc 
on the visual arts? Send info on prod, to 
Program for Art on Film Database, computer 
index to over 19,000 prods on the visual arts. 
Interested in prods on all visual arts topics, 6k 
welcomes info on prods about artists of color 6k 
multicultural art projects. Send info to: Art on 
Film Database, Program for Art on Film, 980 
Madison Ave., NY, NY 10021; fax: (212) 628- 
8963. 

BAD TWIN, NY-based prod./exhibition col- 
lective, seeks films under 30 min. for ongoing 
programs in Europe & US. Alternative 
approaches to all genres 6k forms welcome. 
Must have finished 16mm prints avail. Submit 



VHS only for preview; incl. SASE for return. 
Contact: Bad Twin, Box 528, Cooper Station, 
NY, NY 10276. 

BANANA CLUB, ind. prod, company special- 
izing in networking w/ Japanese investors, pro- 
ducers, promoters, distributors, recording 
labels, TV networks 6k other media industries, 
seeks new materials in cinema, video, music & 
performing arts. Deadline: Ongoing. Send 
treatment, description, samples, press kit, stan- 
dard release form & $20 filing fee to: Banana 
Club, 41 Union Sq. West, ste. 714, NY, NY 
10003. 

BLACK ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION, 

seeks films & videos by black ind. makers, 
directors, or producers for "Black Vision," por- 
tion of Screen Scene, weekly 1/2-hr. show that 
previews TV lineup & latest theatrical releases. 
Deadline: Ongoing. For more info, contact: 
Screen Scene, BET, 1899-9th St. NE, 
Washington, DC 20018; (202) 636-2400. 

BLACK VIDEO PERSPECTIVE, new commu- 
nity TV prod, in Atlanta area, seeks works 
for/by/about African Americans. For more info, 
contact: Karen L. Forest (404) 231-4846. 

BRONXNET (Bronx Community Cable 
Programming Corporation), nonprofit organi- 
zation controlling 4 access channels on Bronx 
Cable- TV System, seeks works by ind. video- 
6k filmmakers for access airing. BRONXNET 
produces programs, facilitates 6k assists com- 
munity in producing 6k cablecasting programs 
for, by 6k about the Bronx. Contact: Fred 
Weiss, program director (718) 960-1180. 

CAROUSEL, series for municipal cable chan- 
nels 23 6k 49 in Chicago, seeks films/videos for 
children 12 yrs 6k under, any length, any genre. 
Send w/ appropriate release, list of credits 6k 
personal info to: Carousel, c/o Screen 
Magazine, 720 N. Wabash, Chicago, IL 6061 1. 
Tapes returned if accompanied by postage. 

CATHODE CAFE seeks short video-art inter- 
stitials to play between alternative-music 
videos on Seattle's TCI/Viacom Channel 29, 
Sundays 9:30 p.m. Format: 3/4" preferred; 1/2" 
ok. Contact: Stan LePard, 2700 Aiki Ave. SW 
#305, Seattle, WA 98116; (206) 937-2353. 

CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS 

accepts feature-length, shorts, animated, 
experimental, or docs of exceptional quality for 
Cinematheque program. Student works not 
accepted. Send 1/2" or 3/4" tapes w/ SASE to: 
Ron Beattie, Center for Contemporary Arts, 
291 E. Barcelona Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87501. 

CENTRAL AMERICA UPDATE, 1/2-hour, 
monthly news 6k public affairs program, shown 
on public-access stations across country, is 
looking for footage or produced pieces (1-30 
min.) on Central America, Cuba 6k Haiti 
(especially Haiti, Salvadoran elections, return 
of Guatamalan refugees from Mexico). Also 
looking for someone in D.C. to tape interviews 
for show. Can't pay, but can cover costs of tape 
6k mailing. Contact: Carol Yourman, 362 
Washington St., Cambridge, MA 02139; (617) 
492-8719. 

CINETECA DE CINE ACCION seeks film 6k 



58 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 994 



video submissions by & about Latinos for regu- 
lar screening series. Fees paid. Formats: 16mm, 
3/4", 1/2", video. Contact: Cine Accion, 346 
9th St., San Francisco, CA 94103; (415) 553- 
8135. 

CITY TV, progressive municipal cable access 
channel in Santa Monica, seeks works on 
seniors, disabled, children, Spanish-language &. 
video art; any length. Broadcast exchanged for 
equip, access at state-of-the-art facility. 
Contact: Laura Greenfield, cable TV manager, 
City TV, 1685 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 
90401; (213) 458-8590. 

COLLECTING COLLECTORS, video screen- 
ing series that celebrates people w/ passion for 
collecting, seeks everything from unedited 
tapes to feature films. Send VHS tape w/ SASE 
& description to: Danny Leonard, media arts 
coordinator, Center for Creative Work, 425 
Bush St., ste. 425, San Francisco, CA 94108; 
(510) 527-4814. 

DATABASE & DIRECTORY OF LATIN 
AMERICAN FILM & VIDEO organized by 
Int'l Media Resources Exchange seeks works by 
Latin American 6k US Latino ind. producers. 
To incl. work in this resource or for info., con- 
tact: Karen Ranucci, IMRE, 124 Washington 
Place, NY, NY 10014; (212) 463-0108. 

DOWNTOWN COMMUNITY TV CENTER 

(DCTV) accepts 3/4" & VHS tapes for open 
screenings & special series w/focus on women, 
youth, multimedia performance video, Middle 
East, gay/lesbian, Native American, labor & 
Asian art. Contact: Jocelyn Taylor, DCTV, 87 
Lafayette St., NY, NY 10013; (212) 941-1298. 

DUTV-CABLE 54, nonprofit educational 
access channel operated by Drexel University 
in Philadelphia, is looking for works by ind. 
producers for broadcast. All genres & lengths 
considered. No payment; will return tapes. 
VHS, SVHS & 3/4" accepted. Contact: George 
McCollough or Maria Elena Mongelli, DUTV- 
Cable 54, 33rd &. Chestnut Sts., Philadelphia, 
PA 19104. 

DYKE TV, weekly NYC cable-TV show, seeks 
films & video shorts (under 10 min.). For info, 
call: (212) 343-9355 or fax: 9337. 

THE EDGE, Denver-based media collective, 
seeks films & videos on alternative approaches, 
feminist stories, ethnically 6k sexually diverse 
works for monthly screenings. All genres con- 
sidered. Formats: 16mm, S-8, 3/4" 6k 1/2". 
Submit VHS for preview only. Send to: Lisa 
Bilodeau, 804 West 4th Ave. #3, Denver, CO 
80223. 

THE E-TEAM, children's TV show w/ envi- 
ronmental theme, seeks film/video footage 6k 
completed works that maintain environmental, 
nature or science theme. Fees paid for footage 
used on air. Contact: David Calderwood, pro- 
ducer, Euro-Pacific Productions, Inc. (908) 
530-4451. 

EN CAMINO, KRCB, seeks works of 30-60 
min. in Spanish 6k English concerning the 
Latino community. Formats: 3/4", 16mm. 
Please contact: Luis Nong, Box 2638, Ronhert 
Park, CA 94928. 

ESSENTIAL CINEMA GROUP continually 
accepts works for Ind. Short Cinema bimonth- 



ly film series. 16/35mm short films, 30 min. 
max. Seeking new experimental, narrative, doc 
6k animation. Send preview tapes on VHS 
(NTSC, PAL) w/ return postage to: Pike Street 
Cinema, 118 Pike St., Seattle, WA 98101. For 
more info on ECG, write: 2011 Fifth Ave., 
#301, Seattle, WA 98121-2502; (206) 441- 
6181. 

EZTV seeks film/video shorts (under 20 min.) 
for L.A.-based UHF TV show. Submit 1/2" or 
3/4" tapes. Narrative, experimental, doc. 
Anything goes. Contact: Jean Railla, EZTV, 
8547 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hollywood, CA 
90069. 

FEEDBACK, anthology cable-access program 
of ind. work, is accepting work on 3/4", 1/2" or 
Hi8. Send tape 6k SASE to: N.A.M.E. Gallery, 
Attn. Video Commitee, 700 North Carpenter, 
Chicago, IL 60622; (312) 226-0671. 

FEM TV (Feminist TV) , award-winning cable- 
access show in Houston, seeks short videos 
by/about/for women (3/4" preferred. No nudi- 
ty.) Videos credited. Tapes returned. Mail to: 
Fern TV, Box 66604, Houston, TX 77266- 
6604. 

FILMBABIES COLLECTIVE, co-op of NY- 
based writers 6k directors, seeks new members 
w/ short films for screening series (16mm, 
under 15 min.). For more info, contact: PO 
Box 2100, NY, NY 10025 (incl. SASE); (212) 
875-7537. 

FILM/VIDEO SHORTS (7-17 min.) wanted 
on various subjects for concept testing on nat'l 
TV. Submit 1/2" tapes for review to: Maureen 
Steinel, ste. 4768, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, NY, 
NY 10112. 

HANDI-CAPABLE IN THE MEDIA, INC., 

nonprofit organization, seeks video prods on 
people w/ disabilities to air on Atlanta's Public 
Access TV. No fees. Submit VHS or 3/4" 
videotape to: Handi-Capable in the Media, 
Inc., 2625 Piedmont Rd., ste. 56-137, Atlanta, 
GA 30324. 

HOME GIRL PRODUCTIONS, consortium of 
women filmmakers, seeks home movies from 
lesbians for possible inclusion in feature-length 
film. Proceeds from film will go to creation of 
lesbian film fund. Send inquiries or movies to: 
Home Girl Productions, 662 North Robertson 
Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069. 

IKON, America's first interactive fiber net- 
work, seeks videos. Network allows viewer to 
interact w/ video in multitude of ways. 
Programming incl. music videos, film clips 6k 
info pieces. High impact, experimental film, or 
computer animation, comedy, abstract/collage, 
PSAs 6k hybrid forms welcomed. Formats: 1/2", 
3/4", S-VHS 6k Mac or PC diskettes; 30 sec. to 
4 min. Include maker bio. Deadline: May 1. For 
info, contact: Sharon Asar, Sybarite Media, 5 
Light St., ste. 407, Baltimore, MD 21202. 

ITVS's INDEPENDENT TV '94, formerly 
Open Call, seeks innovative TV programs for 
audiences not currently served (youth, racial 6k 
ethnic minorities, new immigrants, etc.). 
Deadline: April 18. For guidelines, contact: 
ITVS, 190 E. Fifth St., ste. 200, St. Paul, MN 
55101; (612) 225-9035. 

LATINO COLLABORATIVE, bimonthly 



Gmduare 



At the University of Southern California, 

we are looking for new passionate 

voices. The future generations of 

writers and directors. 



Semester-long courses on screen writing, 
directing, acting, editing, and video. 

Outstanding International instructors like 
Front Daniel. Nina Foch. Jeremy Kagan. 
Charlie Peters. Sylvia Morales and many 
others. 

Dally Interaction with lellow screenwriters 
and student filmmakers. 

An M.F.A. In Screenwtiting bom tire oldest 
film school in the country. 



For more Information about admission and what 
sets USCs Program apart from the rest, contact 



Graduate Screenwriting Program 
School ot Cinema-TV 
University of Southern California 
University Park 
Los Angeles. CA 90089-2211 
(213) 740-3339 



m% 



y 

CINEMA 

TELEVISION 



Deadline for admission is December 10 for the 
following fall term. 



ELARMAOILLO 



MUSIC VIDEOS ♦FASHION 
♦INDUSTRIALS* 




BETACAM 8PVY/TDL 

S».$40/HR4-a 

BUMP0RS FrmflllRXMATS 
WINKWDUBS'TRANSFERS 

2I2-2I3-313 7 
17 W 27TH ST WC 



April 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 59 



screening series, seeks works by Latino 
film/videomakers. Honoraria paid. Send VHS 
preview tapes to: Latino Collaborative 
Bimonthly Screening Series, Euridece Arrati or 
Karim Ainouz, 280 Broadway, ste. 412, NY, 
NY 10007. 

LA PLAZA, weekly half-hour doc series pro- 
duced at WGBH Boston for & about Latino 
community, is interested in acquiring original 
works by ind. film- & videomakers that deal w/ 
social & cultural issues concerning Latinos. 
Works between 25 & 28 min. encouraged. 
Please send tapes in Beta, 3/4", or VHS format 
to: La Plaza/Aquisitions, WGBH, 125 Western 
Ave., Boston, MA 02134. 

NAT'L POLICE ATHLETIC LEAGUE seeks 
videos that foster strong self image of teens. All 
genres — art, music, etc. — on video. Send letter 
of permission to air. Contact: NPAL, 1626 
32nd St. NW, ste. 270, Washington, DC 
20007. 

NEW AMERICAN MAKERS, nationally rec- 
ognized venue for new works by emerging & 
under-recognized videomakers at Center for 
the Arts in SF, seeks works that challenge 
boundaries of creative video/TV. Videomakers 
receive honorarium of $2/min. for tapes. Send 
VHS tape, $15 entry fee & SASE to: New 
American Makers, PO Box 460490, San 
Francisco, CA 94146. 

NEW CITY PRODUCTIONS seeks works-in- 
progress & docs on all subjects for monthly 
screenings. We are committed to promoting 
ind. community by establishing forum of new 
voices. Have professional large screen video & 
16mm projectors. Prefer projects originated on 
Hi8. Send cassettes to: New City Productions, 
635 Madison Ave., ste. 1101, NY, NY 10022; 
(212) 753-1326. 

NYU TV, channel 51 in NYC, is offering 
opportunities for inds to showcase finished 
films & videos. Submit materials to: Linda 
Noble, 26 Washington Place, 1st fl., NY, NY 
10003. 

NYTEX PRODUCTIONS seeks video inter- 
views from across US. Looking for political, 
entertainment, & PSAs in super VHS or VHS. 
Send to: NyTex Productions, PO Box 303, NY, 
NY 10101-0303, Attn: Don Cevaro. 

OFFLINE, hour-long, biweekly, regional pub- 
lic-access show, seeks ind. 6k creative works. 
Submissions should be 3/4", SVHS, or VHS & 
should not exceed 20 min. (longer works will 
be considered for serialization). For more info, 
contact: Greg Bowman, 203 Pine Tree Rd., 
Ithaca, NY 14850; (607) 272-2613. 

OLD & NEW MASTERS OF SUPER-8, invi- 
tational fest in 5th yr. at Anthology Film 
Archives, is expanding reference file of dedi- 
cated S-8 filmmakers w/ at least 2 completed 
films of any length in S-8, who have prints (not 
just originals). Fest has traveled to Brussels & 
may reach Vienna, Berlin, Budapest, Paris, 
etc., in 1994- Send VHS preview transfer of S- 
8 films w/ SASE return mailer, self- addressed 
stamped postcard & $5 w/ file folder of support 
materials: 50-word bio, resume, S-8 fUmogra- 
phy, stills, photo of yourself (w/ name, address, 
phone) and description of films. Deadline: 
Ongoing. Send to: Barbara Rosenthal, guest 



curator, Old & New Masters of Super-8, 727 
Ave. of the Americas, NY, NY 10010. 

OPEN WIDE, weekly, half-hour TV series pro- 
duced by CBC Manitoba that profiles best of 
alternative, underground 6k ind. cinema from 
Canada, US & world, seeks submissions. 
Looking for experimental, video art, comedy, 
drama, animation, docs & music videos 
between 30 sec. & 20 min. Submissions on 
16mm, VHS, Hi-8, 3/4", 1/2" or video. 
Film/video associations & distribs. should send 
catalogs w/ submissions. License fee paid if 
selected for broadcast. Submissions may be in 
any language from any time. Will acknowledge 
submission w/in 10 days. Send to: Open Wide, 
CBC Manitoba, 541 Portage Ave., Winnipeg, 
Manitoba R3B 2G1, Attn: Shipping Dept.; 
(204) 788-3111, Gavin Rich, producer. 

ORGONE CINEMA, newly formed group, 
looking for films/videos for possible exhibition 
in Pittsburgh area. Prefer VHS for preview. 
Especially interested in 8mm, S-8, 6k 16mm. 
Deadline: Ongoing. Send to: Orgone Cinema 
& Archive, c/o M. Johnson, 2238 Murray Ave., 
Pittsburgh, PA 15217. 

PLANET CENTRAL TELEVISION seeks 

broadcast-quality films, videos 6k animation 
censored by US TV as too controversial or 
political. Bonus considerations for submissions 
that are smart, funny, sexy 6k exhibit irreverent 
attitude. Send tape to: Dana Saunders, dir. of 
program acquisitions, Planet Central Tele- 
vision, 1415 Third St. Promenade, ste. 301, 
Santa Monica, CA 90401; (310) 458-4588. 

PRESCOTT COMMUNITY ACCESS 
CHANNEL requests non-commercial pro- 
grams for local airing. No payment, but return 
by post guaranteed. Contact: Jeff Robertson, 
program coordinator, Channel 13, PO Box 
885, Prescott, AZ; (602) 445-0909. 

SUPER CAMERA, prod, of Office KEI, int'l 
TV company, seeks unique 6k never-before- 
seen footage. Areas incl. cutting edge of cam- 
era tech, footage that is dangerous to shoot, 
such as in volcanoes or underwater, & events 
from both the natural 6k physical science 
worlds. For more info, contact: Office KEI, 1 10 
East 42nd St., ste. 1419, NY, NY 10017; (212) 
983-7479; fax: 7591. 

THIRD EYE MEDIA GROUP seeks interviews 
for series of videos on labor & arts. First tape 
focuses on issues w/in media-arts community. 
Individuals who have worked to develop 
unions, spearheaded personnel policy reforms, 
etc. are encouraged to respond. Resulting tape 
will be distributed free to media-arts organiza- 
tions, serving as progressive organizing tool for 
workers to establish regulatory policies in areas 
of health benefits, contracts 6k other compen- 
sations. For more info or to send confidential 
responses, contact: Third Eye Media Group, 
c/o Labor 6k the Arts, 103 Greene Ave. #2, 
Brooklyn, NY 11238; (718) 789-0633 
(ph./fax). 

TV 2000, TV pilot, seeks new videos that con- 
vey positive images for teens. All genres (art, 
music 6k film on video) . Send letter of permis- 
sion to air materials 6k video to: Daryl Grant, 
Box 627, Ansonia Station, NY, NY 10023. 

UNQUOTE TELEVISION, seen by 9 million 



people on 42 broadcast 6k cablecast stations 
nationwide last yr., seeks ind. doc, narrative, 
experimental, animation, performance 
films/videos 6k media art under 28 min. for 
insightful series. 1/2" 6k 3/4" dubs preferred. For 
more info contact: Unquote TV, c/o DUTV, 
33rd 6k Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 
(215) 895-2927. 

VIEWPOINTS, KQED's showcase of ind. 
point-of-view works, seeks films 6k videos 
expressing "strong statements on important 
subjects." Submit VHS or 3/4" tapes (1 1/2 hr. 
length preferred) to: Greg Swartz, manager of 
broadcast projects 6k acquisitions, KQED, 
2601 Mariposa St., San Francisco, CA 94110; 
(415) 553-2269. 

VIRTUAL FOCUS seeks submissions of doc, 
narrative 6k art videos for monthly public 
screenings. Send VHS copies to: Virtual Focus, 
6019 Sunset Blvd., ste. 133, Hollywood, CA 
90028; (213) 250-8118. 

VISION FOOD, weekly public access show in 
LA and NYC, seeks visually exciting pieces in 
all genres (art, music 6k film on video). Under 
20 min., 1/2", 3/4" dubs. No payment, videos 
credited. Send letter of permission to air mate- 
rial & video to: Jack Holland, 5432 Edgewood 
PI., Los Angeles, CA 90019. 

WOMEN OF COLOR in Media Arts Database 
seeks submissions of films 6k videos for data- 
base that incl. video filmographies, bibliograph- 
ical info 6k data. Contact: Dorothy Thigpen, 
Women Make Movies, 462 Broadway, 5th fl., 
NY, NY 10013. 

WYOU-TV, cable-access station in Madison, 
WI, seeks music-related videos for wkly alter- 
native music show. Send 1/2" or 3/4" tapes. No 
payment; videos credited. Contact: WYOU- 
TV, 140 W. Gilman St., Madison, WI 53703. 

XTV, new ind. cable TV channel, seeks stu- 
dent 6k ind. works from around country. For 
more info, call: Otto Khera (602) 948-0381. 

Opportunities • Gigs 



IND. PRODUCERS interested in working for 
NYC agencies in freelance media prod, are 
invited to participate in new database directory 
to be distributed through Crosswalks TV 6k 
other sources. Will link inds. w/ government 
agencies creating media. $10 registration fee 
gets listing w/ 1 update per yr. For more info 6k 
appl., write: SCS Productions, 244 W. 54 St. 
#800, New York, NY 10019. 

NORTH CAROLINA School of the Arts' new 
School of Filmmaking is recruiting faculty. 
Positions are one-year initial appointments. 
Filmmaker-in-Residence positions include: 
Screenwriting (2 posts), Directing, Postpro- 
duction, Visual Design 6k Critical Studies. 
Submit letters of appl. 6k resume to: Steven 
Montal, Assoc. Dean, NC School of the Arts, 
School of Filmmaking, 200 Waughtown St., 
POBox 12189, Winston-Salem, NC 27117- 
2189; (910) 770-1330. 

UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI, School of 
Communications, seeks tenure-track faculty- 
member in television prod, to begin in August. 
Search will remain open until position is filled. 



60 THE INDEPENDENT April 1994 



Successful candidate will have appropriate 
background to teach basic & advanced TV 
prod, classes & will have commitment to pro- 
ducing & helping students produce programs 
for school's cable channel. Ideally, candidate 
will also be qualified to teach courses in broad- 
cast journalism. Ph.D. preferred. Rank & salary 
commensurate w/ qualifications. Letter of 
appl., current resume & letters of recco should 
be mailed to: Dr. Lemuel B. Schofield, chair, 
search committee, PO Box 248127, School of 
Communication, Univ. of Miami, Coral 
Gables, FL 33124-2030. EOE & affirmative 
action employer encourages appls from minori- 
ties & women. 

VIDEO CAMERAWOMEN needed to work as 
stringers covering local events throughout US 
for Dyke TV, weekly NYC cable TV show. For 
info, call (212) 343-9335 or fax: (212) 343- 
9337. 



Publications 



ARCHITECTURE ON SCREEN, publication 
of the Program for Art on Film, the 
Metropolitan Museum of Art 6k the J. Paul 
Getty Trust, is selective guide to more than 900 
films, videos 6k videodiscs in fields of architec- 
ture, landscape architecture, historic preserva- 
tion 6k city 6k regional planning. Book is avail- 
able from G.K. Hall 6k Co. for $65. To order, 
call (800) 257-5755. 

BAY AREA BACKLOT, new floppy-disk 
directory covering Northern California's 
motion picture, video, desktop video 6k multi- 
media industry has been released by 
Film/Tape World, Northern California's film 6k 
video news magazine. It will be avail, on floppy 
disk for easy access from Mac computers. For 
more info, call: Film/TapeWorld at (415) 543- 
6189. 

CD-ROM ART/CULTURE MAGAZINE 

seeks contributors. Bicoastal, interactive multi- 
media pub. (accessible as computer interface) 
will incorporate video, text, sound 6k graphics. 
Seeking work from writers and artists in all 
media. Focus is on formal experimentation 6k 
mixed media compositions. Themes incl.: 
media critcism, cybernetics, found 
sound/imagery 6k information overload. Send 
submissions (film/videomakers should submit 
VHS format) to: GUSH metamedia, PO Box 
3291, NY, NY 10185. For more info, contact: 
Adam (718) 858-9379 or Jack (415) 776-9400. 

FREE CATALOG of ind. 6k experimental films 
on video! Call Alternative Film works, Inc. 
(800) 797-FILM. 

GUIDE FOR NONTENURED FACULTY 
MEMBERS (monograph #6), publication of 
University Film 6k Video Association, is avail, 
by writing: Editor, Journal of Film 6k Video, 
Dept. of Communication, Georgia State Univ., 
University Plaza, Atlanta, GA 30303-3080. 

GUIDELINES TO INTERNATIONAL PRO- 
DUCTION: Info on shooting overseas. Topics 
cover everything from pre- to postprod. Incl. 
chapters on int'l standards 6k formats, insur- 
ance, using foreign crew, int'l contacts 6k tips 
on how to keep out of jail. Written by David 
Calderwood, experienced int'l producer, 



Emmy Nominated 

Tom Borton 

Composer 



ary Available 



1-800-242-2413 



n 



IS SOMETHING MISSING IN YOUR LIFE? 

Don't worry. Back issues of The Independent are 
available for $5 per issue: 

December 1993 

Getting the Most from a Sound Studio • Foreign Coproductions: A Mixed 
Blessing 

November 1993 

Japan's Media Mavericks • New Software for Screenwriters • Legal 
Protection for Screenwriters 

October 1993 

Funding From the Foundation's Perspective • The Acquisition/Distribution 
Agreement • New 3 -Chip Camcorders 

March 1993 

International Documentary Coproductions • The Power of Digital 
Workstations • New Feminism, Old Porn 

December 1992 

Foreign Sales: Doing it Yourself • How Foreign Sales Agents Can Work for 
You. 

November 1992 

The Other Queer Cinema: What Women Want • The Next Wave of Hi8 
Cameras • An Interview with PBS's Jennifer Lawson 

Other back issues are also for sale. 

NAME 

MAILING ADDRESS 



TELEPHONE 



ISSUE(S) REQUESTED, 



AMOUNT ENCLOSED 



Please include check/money order for $5 (incl. postage 6k handling) with this coupon 
to: Back Issues, The Independent, 625 Broadway, 9th fl., NY, NY 10012 



April 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 61 



MOSCOW 

ON THE 

UDsaw 



IfflAPKC ^r Fi 

'[SfljimnHalHup 1 

BCEK. CM^ 



You don't need an Aeroflot ticket 
to find compelling images from 
Russia. Now the full sweep of 
Russian history — from before the 
1917 Revolution to the revolution 
of today — is available in our com- 
prehensive film and video archive. 
To find out more, give us a call. 

The Russian 
Archive 

At David Royle Productions 

(212) 947-8433 



WHERE 

EXPERIENCE 

SHOWS 




Serving The Independent Filmmaker For 23 Years. 

A Black/White and Color Full Service Lab 
35mm, 16mm Dailies 

Prep and Clean 

Film to Video Transfer 

Video to Film Transfer 

Student Rates Available 

Film Craft Video 

37630 Interchange Drive • Farmington Hills, Ml 48335 
Sates Office 810 474-3900 • Fax 810 474-8535 

• 

Film Craft Laboratories 

66 Sibley Street • Detroit, Ml 48201 
313962-2611* Fax 31 3 962-9888 



respected conference presenter 6k widely pub- 
lished author. Send $15 to: 52 Brady Rd, 
Shrewsbury, NJ 07702; (908) 530-4451. 

MONEY FOR FILM & VIDEO ARTISTS, 

publication listing more than 190 sources of 
support for ind. film- & videomakers, is avail, 
for $14-95 + shipping & handling. Contact: 
Doug Rose, ACA Books, Dept. 25, 1285 Ave. 
of the Americas, 3rd fl., Area M, NY, NY 
10019. 

NAMAC offers member directory w/ up-to- 
the-min. compilation of resource & contact 
info relevant to media-arts, community, cultur- 
al & educational orgs & mediamakers. Incl. 
descriptions of 132 media arts centers in US & 
Canada w/ org. history, mission, budget, collec- 
tions, demographics of audiences & artists, 
facilities, publications, etc. Send check payable 
to NAMAC ($25 nonmembers/$ 1 2 NAMAC 
members) to: NAMAC, 1212 Broadway, ste. 
816, Oakland, CA 94612. 

PROTECTING ARTISTS & THEIR WORK, 

publication of People for the American Way, 
answers questions regarding artist's right as 
well as federal & state law. To request a copy, 
call People for the American Way (202)467- 
4999. 



Resources • Funds 

ALAMO AMERICAN FILM COMPETITION 
FOR STUDENTS, debuts this year. Students 
eligible for cash prizes of $1,000, $500 & $250 
for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place winners in 5 cats: nar- 
rative, doc, experimental, music video, PSA. 
Format: 3/4". Deadline: April 30. Contact: 
Alamo Film Competition, 1700 N. Dixie Hwy. 
Ste. 100, Boca Raton, FL 33432; (407) 392- 
4988; fax: (407) 750-8175. 

ARTS MIDWEST, in cooperation w/ NEA, is 
accepting appls. for visual arts funding. $1,000 
matching grants avail, to organizations through 
Artworks Fund & $5,000 grants to individuals 
through the AM/NEA Regional Visual Artist 
Fellowships. For info, contact: Bobbi Morris 
(612) 341-0755. 

CHANGE, INC. assists artists of all disciplines 
w/ emergency aid to avoid eviction or cover 
medical expenses, unpaid utility bills, fire dam- 
age or other emergencies. Grants range from 
$100 to $500. Send letter describing financial 
emergency, copies of bills or eviction notice, 
resume, announcements of exhibitions, work 
sample & at least 2 letters of recommendation 
from field. For info, write: Change, Inc., PO 
Box 705, Cooper Station, NY, NY 10276; 
(212) 473-3742. 

CHICAGO RESOURCE CENTER awards 
grants to nonprofits who serve gay & lesbian 
community. For more info, contact: Chicago 
Resource Center, 104 S. Michigan Ave., ste. 
1220, Chicago, IL 60603; (312) 759-8700. 

CREATIVE SCREENWRITERS GROUP, 

nat'l organization dedicated to advancement of 
writing, is launching free service for everyone 
interested in improving writing skills. CSG will 
provide assistance to anyone interested in join- 
ing writers' group in his/her community. CSG 
also provides info on how to form new groups. 
Send name, address & phone w/ description of 



writing interests & SASE to: Creative 
Screenwriters Group, 518 Ninth St. NE, Ste. 
308, Washington, DC 20002. 

EXPERIMENTAL TELEVISION CENTER 
ARTISTS IN RESIDENCY PROGRAM is 

accepting appls from artists interested in study- 
ing techniques of video image processing dur- 
ing an intensive 5-day residency. Artists must 
have prior experience in video prod. & must 
incl. resume & project description indicating 
how image processing is integrated in their 
work. For more info, contact: Ralph Hocking 
(607) 687-4341. 

LOUISIANA CENTER FOR CULTURAL 
MEDIA now makes professional camera pack- 
ages 6k cuts-only editing systems avail, free of 
charge to indivs. who agree to produce arts 6k 
heritage programming regularly 6k exclusively 
for the Cultural Cable Channel of New 
Orleans. To qualify, interested parties must be 
members of Cultural Communications 
($35/yr.) 6k will have to produce minimum of 6 
shows 6k complete at least 1 program per 
month. For more info, contact: Mark J. Sindler, 
executive director, Cultural Cable Channel 
(504) 529-3366. 

POLLOCK-KRASNER FOUNDATION gives 
financial assistance to artists of recognizable 
merit 6k financial need working as mixed- 
media or installation artists. Grants awarded 
throughout yr., $1,000-$30,000. For guidelines, 
write: Pollock-Krasner Foundation, 725 Park 
Ave., NY, NY 10021. 

VSW's MEDIA CENTER in Rochester, NY, 
accepts proposals on an ongoing basis for its 
Media Access Program. Artists, ind. producers 
6k nonprofits are awarded access at reduced 
rates, prod. 6k postprod. equipment for work on 
non-commercial projects. For an appl., tour, or 
more info, call (716) 442-8676. 

WRITERS WORKSHOP, nonprofit organiza- 
tion dedicated to discovery 6k development of 
new screenwriters, is accepting submissions for 
WW Special Event, monthly reading by WW 
Actors Repertory Company before a live audi- 
ence, w/ prominent film/TV professionals serv- 
ing as moderators to critique screenplay. Past 
moderators incl. Oliver Stone, Lawrence 
Kasdan 6k Ray Bradbury. For more info, send 
SASE to: Writers Workshop P.O. Box 69799, 
Los Angeles, CA 90069; (213) 933-9232. 

Miscellaneous 

COMMUNITY TV NETWORK seeks video 
equipment donations. CTVN is community- 
based nonprofit organization, which provides 
video training to inner-city youths in Chicago. 
For more info, call: Julie Brich (312) 278-8500. 

EARTHQUAKE EMERGENCY APPEAL: 

California State, Northridge, at the epicenter 
of the January quake, suffered severe damage. 
They are looking for film and video equipment, 
supplies, books, and money. All gifts are tax 
deductible. Send checks to: CSUN Foun- 
dation/RTVF Dept., and equipment, supplies, 
and books to: RTVF Dept., CSUN, North- 
ridge, CA 931330; (818) 885-3192 or 3195. 



62 THE INDEPENDENT April 1994 



MEMORANDA: Continued from p. 64 

Telco Report has sent a promotional mail- 
ing to members with more information about 
the offer. To subscribe or to list your produc- 
tion, call (310) 828-4003. 

MAILING LIST NOTES 

We sell our membership mailing list to many 
organizations, both for earned income and as 
a way to let members know about businesses 
and services they may find useful. In light of 
the concerns raised about a recent mailing 
(see p. 8 of this issue), we will be making a 
greater effort to evaluate purchasers before 
releasing the list. However, we cannot 
endorse or make any representations about 
services offered that are not sponsored by 
AIVF. Members have the option to request 
that their name not be released in list sales; 
please let us know if that is your preference. 



MINUTES OF THE 
AIVF/FIVF BOARD OF 
DIRECTORS MEETING 

The Board of Directors of the Association of 
Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) 
and the Foundation for Independent Video 
and Film (FIVF) met in New York on 
January 16, 1994. In attendance were: Debra 
Zimmerman (chair), Robert Richter (presi- 
dent), James Klein (treasurer), Bart Weiss 
(secretary), Dai Sil Kim-Gibson, Barbara 
Hammer, Beni Matias, Robb Moss, Eugene 
Aleinikoff (FIVF) , and Ruby Lerner (ex offi- 
cio). Absent were Wilder Knight, Joan 
Braderman, Loni Ding, James Schamus, and 
Dee Davis. 

The board discussed options for action 
related to the premises vacated by Film 
News Now, including the possibility of a law- 
suit. A letter will be sent to Christine Choy 
to initiate the process of recovering rent pay- 
ments due. 

Administrative/Festival Bureau director 
Kathryn Bowser announced that after more 
than seven years on staff at AIVF, she will 
become a consultant for the organization, 
focusing on publications and the festival 
bureau. With regard to publications, Bowser 
reported that the Asia Production Guide will 
be ready for publication by late spring. 
Additionally, we are planning updates and 
new editions of our current books, including 
the Distributors Guide and Morrie 
Warshawski's The Next Step. 

Membership Programs director Pamela 
Calvert reported on membership initiatives; 
we are currently on-line on Mark Abbate's 
bulletin board within American OnLine, 
and members have been posting messages 
and queries. Weiss will be the board repre- 
sentative on-line, responding to members' 
issue -oriented comments and reporting back 
to the AIVF board. 

Michele Shapiro, managing editor of The 
Independent, reported on the redesigned 



magazine, which has been praised by numer- 
ous members and colleagues. The editorial 
staff is now working on fixing design and 
printing problems to avoid black-outs of text 
such as appeared in the January/February 
issue. We also have plans to begin sending 
the magazine by 2nd Class mail, which is 
faster and cheaper than 3rd Class. 

Advocacy coordinator Martha Wallner 
discussed the need for a "vision statement" 
to guide AIVF's efforts on behalf of various 
issues and causes; the board advocacy com- 
mittee will present a draft for consideration 
at the next board meeting. The highest 
advocacy priority at this time is to build the 
organization's infrastructure for more sys- 
tematic, comprehensive, and effective 
response. Lerner pointed out that the orga- 
nization is particularly well-placed to act as a 
leader within the arts community on tech- 
nology and telecommunications issues. 

The board discussed AIVF's role in sup- 
porting the reauthorization and funding of 
ITVS. Kim-Gibson and Moss will draft a let- 
ter to ITVS director James Yee affirming 
support for ITVS and discussing ways to 
strengthen the relationship between AIVF 
and ITVS. 

Zimmerman reported that the executive 
committee is reviewing the board commit- 
tees, bylaws, and personnel policies, as well 
as the relationship between the AIVF and 
FIVF boards and the role of the advisory 
committee. Zimmerman will ask AIVF board 
member Wilder Knight to resign because of 
absence from meetings; his position on the 
board will be filled by 1st altemate/FIVF 
board member Dee Davis. 

Matias reported that the structure task 
force is concentrating on the revision of 
election procedures and board job descrip- 
tions and will present recommendations for 
action at the next board meeting, at which 
point the task force will dismantle. 

Board elections were held, resulting in 
approval of the following: Zimmerman, 
chair; Richter, president; Ding, vice presi- 
dent; Klein, treasurer; Weiss, secretary. The 
officers will serve until election of new offi- 
cers at the September meeting of the board. 

The next board of directors meeting will 
be held April 24. 

BOARD NOMINATIONS/ANNUAL 
MEETING NEWS 

The AIVF annual membership meeting will 
be held on Friday, April 22, at Anthology 
Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue. 

We are accepting advance nominations in 
writing for the board of directors at the 
AIVF office up until April 22. AIVF board 
members are elected to a three-year term. 
The board gathers four times per year in 
New York City for two-day meetings (AIVF 
pays travel costs for non-NYC residents). 
We have an active board; members must be 
prepared to set aside adequate time to fulfill 
board responsibilities, which include: 

• Attendance at all board meetings and 



participation in conference calls when nec- 
essary; 

• Preparation for meetings by reading 
advance materials from staff; 

• Active participation in one or more 
committees as determined by the organiza- 
tion's needs and as requested by the board 
chair or executive director. 

• Fulfillment of commitments within 
agreed-upon deadlines; 

• General support for the executive direc- 
tor and staff as needed. 

Board nominations must be made and 
seconded by current AIVF members in good 
standing. You may nominate yourself. Board 
members must be over the age of 19. 
Nominations not seconded in advance may 
be seconded at the membership meeting. 

To make a nomination, send or fax us the 
name, address, and telephone numbers of 
the (1) nominee, (2) nominator, and (3) 
member seconding the nomination. We can- 
not accept nominations over the phone. 

Please note: we are sending AIVF mem- 
bers details on the annual meeting, with 
information on procedures for submitting 
work to the open screening program. 



FIVF THANKS 

The Foundation for Independent Video and 
Film (FIVF), the foundation affiliate of the 
Association for Independent Video and 
Filmmakers (AIVF), supports a variety of 
programs and services for the independent 
producer community, including publicadon 
of The Independent, maintenance of the 
Festival Bureau, seminars and workshops, 
and an information clearning house. None 
of this work would be possible without the 
generous support of the following agencies, 
foundations, and organizations: 

The New York State Council on the Arts, 
the National Endowment for the Arts, the 
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur 
Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, 
the Andy Warhol Foundation for the 
Visual Arts, National Video Resources, and 
the Consolidated Edison Company of New 
York. 

Thanks also go to the following individuals 
and businesses: 

Benefactors: 

Mr. Irwin W. Young 

Sponsors: 

Ms. Jeanine Basinger, Mr. Daniel 
Edelman, Mr. Robert Richter, Mr. 
George C. Stoney, AVID Technology, 
Inc. 

Business/Industry: 

Award Video-Film Cortland, OH 

Delphis, Cortland, OH 

Thunder Productions, Los Angeles, CA 



April 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 63 



Memoranda 



by Pamela Calvert 



UPCOMING EVENTS 

"MEET YOUR (fellow) MAKER" 
A MONTHLY MEMBER SALON 

This is a monthly opportunity for members 
to meet informally. It's a brand-new pro- 
gram, organized by AIVF member Jonathan 
Berman (The Shvitz), and we're excited to 
see what direction it takes. 

Where: The back room at Telephone Bar, 
149 Second Avenue (9th St.), NYC 
When: The third Tuesday of each month; 
April 19, 6-8 pm. (Drinks are half-price for 
the first hour.) Make it a regular date: plan 
ahead for Tuesday, May 17! 

MONTHLY MEMBER ORIENTATION 

Come to our offices to learn about the orga- 
nization's services, meet the membership 
program staff, and be introduced to the 
resource library. 

When: Wednesday, April 20, at 6 pm, at the 
AIVF offices. RSVP helpful but not essential 
(212)473-3400. 

MEET AND GREETS 

These are opportunities for AIVF members 
to meet producers, distributors, funders, pro- 
grammers, and others, to exchange informa- 
tion in an informal atmosphere at the AIVF 
offices. Free; open to AIVF members only. 
Limited to 20 participants. RSVP essential. 

LYNN HOLST 

Vice president, Creative Affairs 
American Playhouse 
Thursday, April 28, 6 pm 

FORUMS 

We are working with two film festivals tak- 
ing place in NYC in late April/early May, to 
present panels focusing on issues of interest 
to independents: 

Human Rights Watch Film Festival: 

April 28-May 12 

AIVF panel: POLITICAL FILMMAKING 

IN THE UNITED STATES 

"Political" filmmaking has taken different 
forms in the U.S. than elsewhere in the 
world. A political subject is often seen as the 
kiss of death by the commercial industry, 
killing prospects for many projects. Money 
and distribution are no less problems abroad, 
but political filmmaking flourishes interna- 
tionally. What makes it possible for foreign 
filmmakers to produce work that Americans 
largely cannot? And what new strategies and 
opportunities can we pursue? Filmmakers 
from the US and abroad will discuss these 
issues on a panel moderated by Hamilton 
Fish, director of the Human Rights Watch 
Film Festival and producer of Hotel 



Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie 
and The Memory of Justice. 

When: Wednesday, May 4, 6:30 pm 
Where: tba; call AIVF offices for more infor- 
mation 

Price: $2 with festival ticket stub; $5 others. 
Festival sponsored by Human Rights 
Watch. For more information: (212) 473- 
3400 AIVF/(212) 972-8400 HRW 

Wind and Glacier Voices Native American 
Film & Media Celebration: May 6-12 
AIVF panel: 
NATIVE AMERICAN FILM NOW 

Hollywood, TV, and the festivals are all 
jumping on the bandwagon of native-orient- 
ed films. But has this opened any special 
opportunities for Native American filmmak- 
ers? Who holds the purse strings? And what 
are they looking for? What is the substance 
behind the new cachet? Filmmakers and 
industry reps will discuss current prospects 
and options in production, financing, distri- 
bution and exhibition. 

When: Saturday, May 7, 3:30 pm 

Where: Kaplan Penthouse (above Walter 

Reade Theater), Lincoln Center 

Price: $2 with festival ticket stub; $5 others 

Festival sponsored by American Indian 

Community House, Native American Law 

Alliance, Association on American Indian 

Affairs, Film Society of Lincoln Center, and 

Learning Alliance. 

For more information: (212) 473-3400 
AIVF/(212) 226-7171 Learning Alliance. 
Special thanks to AIVF member James 
McGowan for his assistance in organizing 
this event. 

SAVE THAT DATE! 

WORKING WITH COMPOSERS 

Finding and commissioning a composer to 
create an original film score can be a chal- 
lenging experience. AIVF and Meet the 
Composer are initiating a range of programs 
to facilitate the process, beginning with a 
panel discussion and "town meeting" 
Monday evening, May 23. Watch next mon- 
th's Independent for details, or call the office 
for more information. 

MARK LITWAK'S SELF-DEFENSE FOR 
WRITERS AND FILMMAKERS 

In this intensive seminar, filmmakers learn 
how to anticipate problems in their negotia- 
tions with production and distribution com- 
panies and create incentives for companies 
to live up to their agreements. In the event 
of an unresolvable dispute, participants learn 
what remedies are available to enforce their 
rights. Mark Litwak is an entertainment 
attorney, teacher, and author of Reel Power: 
The Struggle for Influence and Success in the 



New Hollywood and the upcoming Deal- 
making in the Film and Television Industry. 
Advance registration required. 

When: Saturday, June 11, 10 am to 5:30 pm 

Where: Location tba; call office for more 

info. 

Price: $85 AIVF members; $95 others 

For more information: (212) 473-3400 

ON-LINE UPDATE 

America Online has been deluged with new 
orders for service and has taken much longer 
than we anticipated to respond to our 
request for an AIVF discussion group [see 
Memoranda in January/February 1994]. At 
press time we still have no word, but fer- 
vently hope this will be old news by the time 
this issue is in your hands. We will announce 
our permanent keyword online in Abbate's 
bulletin board, where members have been 
having a spirited dialogue since January. 

If you are new to AIVF or to America 
Online: once you are on-line, pull down Go 
To from the menu at the top of the screen 
and select keyword. At the prompt, type 
abbate, then message center, then topics, 
and finally aivf. To subscribe to America 
Online, call (800) 827-6364. 

SPECIAL OFFER FOR 
AIVF MEMBERS 

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Los 
Angeles-based Telco Report is offering a spe- 
cial introductory one-year subscription to 
AIVF members at a deeply discounted price 
of $45 (reg. $200). 

Distributed to thousands of subscribers in 
over 100 countries, the Telco Report is a 
weekly round-up of productions in the 
pipeline. Listings are free. The publication is 
useful to independents to see what else is on 
the market, who is distributing work similar 
to yours, and finding possible coproduction 
partners. Members who are festival and tele- 
vision programmers will find prospects every 
week for exhibition and broadcast. 

Continued on p. 63. 



Noho Office Space for Rent 

Need office or editing space in a prime 
location? 2,000 sq. ft. available in a 
Broadway building (btwn Bleecker and 
Houston) that houses nonprofit film, 
publishing, and environmental groups, 
among others. Space is ideal for a share 
or production offices and can be subdi- 
vided. Rent is negotiable. Call John at 
(212) 473-3400. 



64 THE INDEPENDENT April 1994 




What if... 



□ Valuable film or tape was 
lost due to theft, fire or 
faulty processing? 

□ Your technical equipment 
broke down in the middle 
of filming? 



□ There's an injury or property 
damage on site? 

D You're sued for film content, 
unauthorized use, or failure 
to obtain clearance? 

D What if you're not insured? 



li 



>Ai.\ 



M: 



INSURANCE BROKERS 




ENTERTAINMENT/MEDIA INSURANCE SPECIALISTS 

Providing short and long-term coverage when you need it to reshoot, repair, and 

protect your products and time. 

CALL FOR A FREE QUOTE TODAY! 

1-800-638-8791 

7411 Old Branch Avenue, P.O. Box 128, Clinton, MD 20735 







THE FILh 

MAY-JUNE 1994 


1 S VIDEO INSTITUTE 

INTENSIVE, HANDS ON COURSES, WORKSHOPS AND SEMINARS 
ON PRODUCING, DIRECTING, AND WRITING WITH AMERICAN 
UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS AND INDUSTRY EXPERTS. 


EVENING AND WEEKEND 


^^Stfr^ 


INSTRUCTION IN FILM 
AND ELECTRONIC MEDIA 
FOR PROFESSIONAL AND 
CAREER DEVELOPMENT. 

FOR INFORMATION, BROCHURE- 
CALL (202) 885-2500 

OR WRITE-UPAC, MCKINLEY 153, 

THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY, 

4400 MASS. AVE. NW, DC 20016 


THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY 


WASHINGTON, D.C 

Casting Workshop ■ Computer Animation &l Graphics ■ Directing 81 
cinematography for the independent 3 5 mm feature ■ documentary 
Production ■ Dramatic Film Production in Prague ■ Feature Film 
Breakdown, Scheduling 81 Budgeting ■ Film Production ■ Financing, 
Managing and Selling Film 81 Television Documentaries ■ Line 
Producing 81 Production Management ■ Location Lighting Workshop 
■ Location Sound Recording Workshop ■ Multimedia 81 Interactive 
Development ■ Nonlinear Editing ■ Producing Television for Public 
Access Cable TV ■ Screenwriting for Hollywood ■ Television Comedy 
Writing ■ Video Production ■ 2 -Day Hollywood Film School 







QUARK VIDEO PRESENTS P0STPR00UC110N 



J Hi 



• H-Hi 




A/B ROLL 
3/4, 3/4 SP, 
BETACAMSP 

TO 3/4 SP 




A/B ROLL 
3/4, 3/4 SP, 
BETACAMSP 
TO BETACAMSP 



'(fa f10(| 

. BETACAMSP f I I 
V V TOONEINCH L V 



Starring CHYRON and TOASTER 4000 featuring over 300 FONTS. Including FOUR CHANNELS of DVE, 

DAT, EXTENSIVE SOUND PROCESSING and MANY EXTRAS. NETWORK CREDITED EDITOR and 

GRAPHIC ARTIST. Most KNOWLEDGEABLE STAFF in the industry. Clients include NATIONAL BROADCAST 

and CABLE NETWORKS, FORTUNE 400 companies and hundreds of INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS. 

OUR SECOND DECADE, STANDARDS CONVERSION, PRODUCTION SERVICES. STAGE 



© 



FAST SERVICE • BROADCAST QUALITY • GREAT PRICES 

UADK 212-807-7711 
VI DEC 



109 W. 27th STREET 













NON-PROFIT ORG. 
U.S. POSTAGE 

PAID 

HANOVER, PA 
Permit No. 4 






Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film 
625 Broadway, 9th floor 
New York, NY 10012 





Sundance and Rotterdam International Film Festivals 



MAY 1994 






$3.50 US $4.50 CAN 



T 



L 



, 



it 



", 'i 



BORDERS fl US 

We're a nation of 
camcorder owners. 

So when will the 

video revolution be 

televised? 




CTV 

at the 
Crossroads 



"74470"801U' 6 



05 



of the Foundation for Independent Video and Film 




The WPA Film Library Is More Than A Stock Footage 

Source For Historically Significant Moving Images. Its A 

Documentary Record Of Sublime And Outrageous 

lifestyles; a living resource for the preservation of 

Archival Ideas; A Welcome Escape Into A Past That Is 

Filled With Wonder, Ambition, And Romance... 




To get your free copy of our incredible new 150-page Stock Footage 
Reference Guide and our 1993 sample reel, call us toll-free at 

1-800-777-2223 

HISTORIC FOOTAGE - WORLDWIDE RIGHTS 



The WPA Film Library 



5525 West 159th Street - Oak Forest - Illinois - 60452 - Phone 708.535.1540 - Fax 708.535.1541 



Theatrical 



TOUR PASSPORT TO EXPOSURE HAS ARRIVED! 



Broadcast 



A NEW CONCEPT IN SHORT FILM 
EXHIBITION & DISTRIBUTION 



B 



ASSPORT CINEMAS . . . making short films a part 
of everyone's life. We feel that people deserve to see what 
you have worked so hard to create. We are accepting 
short films of any genre or category (narrative, documentary, 
animation, experimental, etc.) for distribution and exhibition. 

PASSPORT CINEMAS . . . highly accessible. Your 
participation in this new forum for entertainment will allow 
for careers, not just reels, to be made from the production 
of short films. 

Guidelines for Submission: 

• films may be any category or genre 

• films may be up to 59 minutes 

• films may originate in any medium 

• no restrictions on production date 

• preview on 1/2" or 3/4" video (NTSC only)? 

• include press kit 

Send Submission to: 

PASSPORT CINEMAS 

Acquisitions Department 
125 Wolf Road 
Albany, NY 12205 ^ 
Phone:(518)453-1000 
Fax:(518)458-84Si-J^ 





May 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 1 




pin 

M M O N T H L Y\/ 



MAY 1994 

VOLUME 17, NUMBER 4 



Publisher: Ruby Lerner 

Editor: Patricia Thomson 

Managing Editor: Michele Shapiro 

Editorial Assistant: Sue Murray 

Interns: Mitch Albert, Judith Rumelt 

Contributing Editors: Kathryn Bowser, Barbara Osborn, 

Karen Rosenberg, Catherine Saalfield 

Art Director: Daniel Christmas 

Advertising: Laura D. Davis (212) 473-3400 

National Distribution: Bernhard DeBoer (201) 667- 

9300; Ingram Periodicals (800) 627-6247 

Printed in the USA by Sheridan Press 

The Independent Film & Video Monthly (ISSN 0731- 
5198) is published monthly except February and 
September by the Foundation for Independent Video 
and Film (FIVF), a nonprofit, tax-exempt educational 
foundation dedicated to the promotion of video and 
film. Subscription to the magazine ($45/yr individual; 
$25/yr student; $75/yr library; $100/yr nonprofit orga- 
nization; $150/yr business/industry) is included in 
annual membership dues paid to the Association of 
Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), the national 
trade association of individuals involved in independent 
film a^id video, 625 Broadway, 9th fl., NY, NY 10012, 
(212)'473-3400; fax: (212) 677-8732; aivf@aol.com. 
Application to mail at Second Class postage rates is 
pending at New York, NY, and additional mailing 
offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The 
Independent, 625 Broadway, 9th fl., NY, NY 10012. 

Publication of The Independent is made possible in 
part with public funds from the New York State Council 
on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, a 
federal agency. 

Publication of any advertisement in The 
Independent does not constitute an endorsement. 
AIVF/FIVF are not responsible for any claims made in 
an ad. 

Letters to The Independent should be addressed to 
the editor. Letters may be edited for length. 

All contents are copyright of the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film, Inc. Reprints require writ- 
ten permission and acknowledgement of the article's 
previous appearance in The Independent. The 
Independent is indexed in the Alternative Press Index. 

© Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. 
1994 

AIVF/FIVF staff members: Ruby Lerner, executive direc- 
tor; Kathryn Bowser, administrative/festival bureau 
director; Pamela Calvert, membership/program director; 
Judah Friedlander, membership associate; Susan 
Kennedy, development director; John McNair, informa- 
tion services associate; Martha Wallner, advocacy coor- 
dinator; Arsenio Assin, receptionist; interns: Esther Bell, 
Melissa Scott, Elizabeth Ip, Dierdre Holder. 

AIVF/FIVF legal counsel: Robert I. Freedman, Esq., 
Leavy, Rosensweig & Hyman 

AIVF/FIVF Board of Directors: Joan Braderman, Dee 
Davis, Loni Ding (vice president), Barbara Hammer, 
Ruby Lerner (ex officio), Dai Sil Kim-Gibson, Jim Klein 
(treasurer), Beni Matias, Robb Moss, Robert Richter 
(president), James Schamus*, Norman Wang*. Barton 
Weiss (secretary), Debra Zimmerman (chair). 
* FIVF Board of Directors only 



2 THE INDEPENDENT May 1994 



28 



-V • \ ' 




COVER: The proliferation of afford- 
able camcorders has heralded a 
new era in communications. But 
where is all this camcorder footage 
appearing? Not on TV — unless it's 
silly family pranks or vigilante 
video. In "Camcorders R Us," Laurie 
Ouellette looks at the peculiar pack- 
aging of camcorder footage by 
broadcasters in the U.S. 

Public TV is also evolving as the 
communications landscape shifts. 
"Public TV at the Crossroads" 
includes the key findings of a spe- 
cial task force on public TV, and 
assesses where independents fit in. 

Cover photo: Gary Anderson 




Features 

Public Television at the Crossroads 

What is the mission of public television in the 1990s and beyond? Excerpts from the 

controversial Quality Time? The Report of the Twentieth Century Fund Task Force on 

Public Television are followed by comments from task force member ELI EVANS 

and independent producer Ralph ARLYCK. 

Camcorders R Us by Laurie ouellette 

We're now? a nation of camcorder owners. But has the camcorder 
democratized the media? 

/ O Media News 

Violent Nights by michele Shapiro 

Coalition Monitors Constitutionality of TV- Violence Legislation 

MoMA Commemorates Stonewall by kimberly jean smith 
New N. Carolina Film School Opens by Jeremy byman 

Puttin' on the Glitz: NYC's Fifth Night Series by Robert kolker 
Neo-Nazi Doc Raises Ire in Germany by julia hammer 

Latin American Fest Debates TV's Future by jesikah maria ross 

© Talking Heads 

Lodge Kerrigan, director: Clean, Shaven by alissa quart 

Ning Dai, video documentarian: Discussions Caused by 
a Film 's Filming Being Stopped by michele Shapiro 

Hamilton Fish, festival director, 
The Human Rights Watch Film Festival by b j sigesmund 

© Field Reports 

Perfect Pitch: The International Film Financing Conference 

by Michael Fox 



Long Shots Score Big at the Sundance Film Festival 

by Patricia Thomson 

Not Just Another McFest: 
The Rotterdam International Film Festival 

by Michele Shapiro 



by Kathryn Bowser 




© Festivals 

© Classifieds 
© Notices 





EMORANDA by Pamela Calvert 



May 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 3 



From start 



n 



n 



ra 



j 



to finish. 



Video Dub does it all. 

• Post-production • Duplication 

• Customization • Distribution 

From editing to broadcast and high volume VHS duplication 

to distribution - whatever your needs, Video Dub does it for you! 

So call us today, and get the whole job done. 




VIDEO DUB INC. 



£M 



423 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019 (212) 757-3300 
235 Pegasus Avenue, Northvale, NJ 07647 (201) 767-7077 

A Video Services Corporation Company 

1-800-88-DUB-IT 



4 THE INDEPENDENT May 1 994 



SONY 

EV-S7000 



Hi 8 Editing VCR with RC Time Code 




NEW From Sony! 




Introducing Sony's 

most advanced Hi8 

editing VCR for the 

prosumer market! 

Sony proudly presents the 

EV-S7000, its finest Hi8 editing 

VCR ever for the prosumer 

market. It offers advanced editing 

capabilities like RC Time Code and 8- 

segment assemble editing; outstanding 

picture and sound quality with digital TBC, DIMR and PCM 

digital stereo; and a new tape transport mechanism for 

high-speed operation. 



Video Features 



•Hi8 Recording System 

•Digital Time Base Correction 

•Digital Noise Reduction 

• Drop-out Compensation Circuitry 

•Chroma Process Improvement system 

for minimal color blurring at object edges 
•3-Line Digital Comb Filter for clear Y/C Signal separation 
•Tape Stablizer for reduced picture jitter 
•3-Head Video System for crystal-clear special 

effects playback 



1,899°° 



Audio Features 



•Digital PCM Stereo for CD-like sound quality 
•Digital PCM Stereo Audio Dubbing for adding back- 
ground music or voice-over narration on a separate 
sound track in post production 
• AFM Hi-Fi Stereo Sound 



Editing Features 



• RC Time Code for ± 1 frame cut-in/cut-out accuracy when 
used with another EV-S7000 or ± 5 frame accuracy 
when used with Sony CCD-TR700 or CCD-VX3 
Handy cam" camcorder 



•8-segment Assemble Editor— built-in 
•Jog/Shuttle Control for precise editing 

• Rapid Access™ Tape Transport system for near 

instantaneous response time 
•Advanced Synchro Edit™ function with pre-roll 

• Flying Erase™ Head 
•Control-L (LANC) editing interface 



TV Tuner Features 



• VCR Plus + ™ Programming 
•Cable Mouse™ cable box controller 

• 181 -channel TV Tuner 
•Stereo Broadcast Reception 

• 1 -month/8-Program Timer 

•Visual Scan Indexing provides a visual intro scan of 
all index points on a tape 



Convenience Features 



•High-Speed Digital Picture Search: 20x in both FRW 

and REV 
•High-Speed Rewind: 1 minute for a 2-hour tape 
•Motorized Slide-Out Control Panel with 

comprehensive LED display 
•On-Screen Menu System 
•Front AV Connections 
• Multi-brand TV/VCR remote with jog/shuttle 
•Auto Head Cleaner 

Sony, Handycam, Rapid Access, Cable Mouse, 
Flying Erase, Synchro Edit are trademarks of Sony. 




AUDIO/ELECTRONICS 



120 DUANEST. IMYC 



2 BLOCKS NOirrH 

OF CITY H/\LL IN 

LOWER M/MMH/VTT/UM 



OPEN MONDAY - FRIDAY 8:30AM-6:00PM/SUNDAY 10AM-4PM 



212-608-3720 



■fflfr 2Z BBS 



May 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 5 



Media News 



Edited by Michele Shapiro 




In an effort to curtail violence on 
television, lawmakers could be 
walking a fine line between pro- 
tecting the country's young and 
violating First Amendment 
rights. The Free Expression 
Network, a national coalition 
comprising 44 organizations, 
including the Association for Independent 
Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), People for 
the American Way, and the Alliance for 
Community Media, is watching carefully to 
make sure any legislation passed on the issue 
is constitutional. 



The Senate Commerce Committee, 
chaired by Senator Ernest F. Hollings (D- 
South Carolina), held hearings last October 
on television violence, at which time 
Attorney General Janet Reno warned that if 
television networks did not voluntarily 
reduce violence on TV, the government 
would step in with restrictions. Since then, 
Senator Paul Simon (D-Illinois) reached an 
agreement with the cable and broadcast 
industries to create an industry monitoring 
mechanism, which will evaluate the level of 
violence in programming. The cable industry 
also indicated willingness to accept a rating 



system and some form of viewer discretion 
technology that would enable programs to be 
blocked out on individual TV sets. Although 
Simon has said publicly he feels legislation 
on TV violence is not necessary (as did 138 
endorsers of an ad that ran in The Washing- 
ton Post urging the TV industry to take vol- 
untary steps to reign in TV violence before 
the government does it for them) , numerous 
measures to regulate or monitor violence on 
television have been introduced in recent 
months. Among them are a V-chip bill by 
Congressman Ed Markey (D-Massachu- 
setts), a Senate version of the same bill by 
Byron Dorgan (D-N. Dakota), and a third 
bill by Senator Hollings (D-South Carolina), 
which prohibits the airing of programs with 
violent content during times when children 
are likely to be watching. 

Congressman Markey, unlike Simon, 
believes legislation of some sort is unavoid- 
able. Markey 's proposed bill would require 
TV manufacturers to include a "V" chip in 
television sets that enables viewers to block 
specified programs, channels, and time slots, 
or block shows with a common rating (such 
as the "V" signal). Washington insiders say 
the bill is a leading contender because of 
Markey's clout as chair of the Telecommun- 
ications and Finance subcommittee of the 
House Energy and Commerce Committee, 
which has jurisdiction over television issues. 

A spokesperson for the National Cam- 
paign for Freedom of Expression (NCFE), a 
Washington, DC-based organization that 
defends artists from censorship attacks, says 
the organization favors the Markey bill 
because it empowers parents to block recep- 
tion on a show-by-show basis but does not 
necessarily call for the "V" rating. But as 
People for the American Way's legislative 
counsel Jim Halpert warns, "If even the 
mildest of the pending legislation makes it to 
the House or SenJte floors, it will almost cer- 
tainly face amendments that clearly violate 
the U.S. Constitution." If the government 
becomes involved in such decisions, he adds, 
no type of programming, including news pro- 
grams and documentaries, would be 
immune. "Not even Monday night football 
would be sheltered constitutionally from 
censorship," Halpert says. 

The Free Expression Network has called 
for hearings in both the House and Senate 
on the constitutionality of the various pieces 
of legislation that were in committee at press 
time. According to Bob Peck of the 
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 
Senator Hollings has "expressed interest in 
holding hearings in the Senate," but no date 
had been scheduled at press time. 

For more information on the Free 
Expression Network, contact Leslie Harris, 
public policy director at People for the 
American Way (202) 467-2390. 

Michele Shapiro 

with reporting by Martha Wallner 



6 THE INDEPENDENT May 1 994 




LIMIT 



Before Stonewall, 
Greta Schiller's docu- 
mentary on the histo- 
ry of homosexual 
America, will be part 
of the groundbreaking 
series of MoMA, Gays 
and Film: Get Reel. 
Courtesy Frameline 



GAY FILMS 

AT MOMA COMMEMORATE 

STONEWALL REBELLION 

The Stonewall uprising, which took place 25 
years ago in New York City, marks the birth 
of the modern gay and lesbian movement. 
Next month, the Museum of Modern Art 
(MoMA) in Manhattan and the Rockefeller 
Foundation will recognize this anniversary 
with screenings of 45 films by, for, and about 
lesbians and gay men. 

The "Gays and Film: Get Reel" series, 
scheduled from June 17 to July 12 at the 
museum, is part of a citywide celebration, 
which includes an international march for 
gay and lesbian rights at the United Nations 
and the Gay Games festival. "This [series] is 
a breakthrough for the [gay] community," 
says curator Alan Hertzberg. "It's the first 
time a major museum is focusing a [series] 
screening on gay content. [And] it's the first 
retrospective of the gay documentary genre." 

The program features a range of indepen- 
dent films spanning more than three 
decades — from Andy Warhol's Bbw Job to 
Pratibha Parmar's Warrior Marks. Some of 
the works focus on issues such as gay pride, 
AIDS, and sexuality while others celebrate 
the contribution of lesbian and gay filmmak- 
ers to the documentary genre. Featured film- 
makers include Richard Fung, Marlon Riggs, 
Shirley Clarke, Barbara Hammer, Isaac 
Julien, Sadie Benning, Robbie Rosenberg, 



Greta Schiller, Elaine Velasquez, and Dawn 
Suggs. 

Hertzberg first approached the museum 
with the idea for the series two years ago 
after someone at the Gay and Lesbian 
Community Center where he volunteers said 
it was too bad no mainstream museum was 
commemorating the Stonewall anniversary. 
"Museums are my business," says Hertzberg, 
an art and film consultant. "So I decided to 
carry the ball." 

Capitalizing on his connections at 
MoMA, Hertzberg approached the museum 
with several concepts and eventually was 
named guest curator for the survey of non- 
fiction films. Hertzberg says the screenings 
offer an expanded vision of documentary 
because they also include narrative films, 
such as Frank Ripploh's Taxi Zum Kh and 
Cheryl Dunye's The Potluck and the Passion. 

Larry Kardish, MoMA's curator and coor- 
dinator of film exhibitions, says the museum 
decided to focus on the documentary genre 
because "makers of non-fiction film have 
been more direct and forthright [toward les- 
bians and gay men] than fiction filmmakers 
within the structure of an industry still 
uncomfortable with homosexuality." But he 
is reluctant to call it a breakthrough for the 
lesbian and gay community. "What MoMA 
is doing is recognizing that 25 years ago 
something very important and historic hap- 
pened and that documentaries. ..charted that 
change," Kardish says. 

The Rockefeller Foundation became 
involved when Hertzberg approached them 
with a request for $15,000 that the project 
needed to move forward. 

According to Janet Sternburg, senior pro- 
gram advisor in media at the foundation, 
Rockefeller funded the project because it 
was the first time a "flagship" museum like 
MoMA had mounted a major series with 
explicitly gay and lesbian themes. "That's 
what excited us — that linking," Sternberg 
says. "When one institution changes, it's 
suggestive that at least it's important [to 
other institutions] not to be afraid." 

Kimberly Jean Smith 

Kimberh/ Jean Smith is a New York-based freelance writer. 



NEW NORTH CAROLINA 

FILM SCHOOL EMPHASIZES 

HANDS-ON TRAINING 

"The film industry doesn't trust book 
learnin'," says the man in charge of the year- 
old filmmaking program at the North 
Carolina School of the Arts (NCSA) in 
Winston-Salem. "We're going to run the 
school as if it were a production company 
and as if it were a school, so when the [stu- 
dents] leave, the transition will be less trau- 
matic." 

Sam Grogg is talking, as any dean of a pro- 
fessional school should, about making sure 



ISASTUDIOS 



May 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 7 






e*/ 




Sam Grogg, dean of the film school at NC School of the 
Arts, links production with 'book learnin.' 

Photo: Chip Litaker, courtesy NC School of the Arts 

his graduates make it in the real world. But 
Grogg, a well-established producer who trad- 
ed in the world of endless sunshine and 
power lunches for the world of academic pol- 
iticking last year, has something more ambi- 
tious in mind than simply making sure 
undergraduate portfolios show hands-on 
experience. He wants to make movies — real 
movies — with students. 

Not at first, mind you; building the under- 
graduate program takes priority. These stu- 
dents — about 60 a year and almost all new to 
film — will focus on what Grogg calls the "key 
collaboration" of directing and screenwrit- 
ing. (They'll also be taking general education 
and film history courses.) "We don't empha- 
size documentary or experimental or animat- 
ed film up front," he notes, and adds that the 
training focuses on "story as the heart of all 
film. We've got video and 16mm film equip- 
ment, and the students will be able to adapt 
their training to any film situation." 

They'll learn in what Grogg calls a "mas- 
ter-apprentice" relationship with faculty 
who've not only worked in film before, but 
continue to work as writers, directors, and 
producers. Unlike the other (and consider- 
ably more expensive) film programs around 
the country — including the one he used to 
teach in at UCLA — the goal at NCSA will 
be real cross-fertilization between film and 
the other professional departments. 

A few years down the road, thanks to 
NCSA's foresight in winning permission to 
plan a Masters program, Grogg can begin to 
realize his dream of involving students in the 
day-to-day work of film production, while 
still offering the advanced students in the 
Masters program what he calls the "cocoon" 
of a properly structured and funded graduate 
program in which to do their feature thesis 
films. 

To do that, Grogg is already visualizing 
the school as one giant production company. 
"We'll develop projects that the faculty and 
students can produce and direct. We'll be 
making features [that cost up to] $5 million, 
and episodic TV at about $150,000 a half- 
hour. They'll be competitive, professional, 
narrative pictures. We'll have the facilities in 



place. We'll just need some extra money." 

If it were anybody but Grogg talking this 
way, skepticism would be very much in 
order. After all, as he himself acknowledges, 
announcements come in the film industry 
every day about new projects that never 
materialize. But Grogg is an old hand at rais- 
ing money, and his list of credits is strongest 
in exactly the kind of independent film that 
some in Hollywood dismiss for its lack of 
wide box-office appeal: He helped come up 
with the money for Choose Me and Kiss of the 
Spider Woman, and produced The Trip to 
Bountiful (with Geraldine Page's Oscar-win- 
ning performance), the adaptation of the 
stage success Da, Spike of Bensonhurst, and 
Patti Rocks. 

Money for the film school itself is less of a 
problem. NCSA provided start-up funds, 
and several foundations and the local cham- 
ber of commerce contributed. A National 
Endowment for the Arts challenge grant of 
$500,000 is being matched in part by anoth- 
er $500,000 gift from a local bank. And now 
that North Carolina's voters have passed a 
$6.9 million bond issue and the legislature 
has chipped in another $8 million, the 
school is looking down the road two years to 
what Grogg is calling a "state-of-the-art edu- 
cational production, postproduction, and 
exhibition facility." 

For application materials or more infor- 
mation, contact: The School of Filmmaking, 
North Carolina School of the Arts, 200 
Waughtown St., Winston-Salem, NC 
27117-2189; (910) 770-1330; 1339 (fax). 

Jeremy Byman 

Jeremy Byman teaches film at Gilford Technical 
Community College in Greensboro, NC, and writes 
film reviews for Triad Style Magazine, a Greensboro- 
based weekly. 



PUTTIN' ON THE GLITZ: NYC'S 
FIFTH NIGHT SERIES 

Thanks to the Fifth Night — a five-month- 
old series of screenplay readings and short 
film screenings held at the Nuyorican Poets 
Cafe in Manhattan — the route from a Lower 
East Side tenement to an earthquake-proof 
Malibu beach house has never seemed more 
direct. On any given Tuesday evening, the 
airy, 22-year-old East Village performance 
space for literati and performance poets 
becomes a feeding frenzy for William Morris 
agents and others in search of new talent. 
Worlds collide and, during the early-evening 
screenplay reading and the late-night 
screenings that follow, the counter-cultural 
cafe briefly becomes a scene. 

Even one of New York's coldest and 
snowiest evenings witnesses no downturn in 
the Fifth Night's crowd, which divides itself 
between a few rows of seats facing the stage 
and scattered tables around the brick-walled 
room. "I walked in and I thought it looked 
like L.A.," says Mary Greening, a Nuyorican 



regular, who finally got a reservation after 
several previous attempts. 

Announcer Roland Legiardi-Laura — doc- 
umentarian, poet, and co-coordinator of the 
series with Amy Henry — offers blankets, hot 
chocolate, and sleeping bags to anyone who 
can't get a cab out of the neighborhood 
when the evening ends. He elicits laughter 
from the crowd when he says, "Between the 
night's scheduled screenplay reading and 
short film, we have a leisurely, half-hour net- 
working break when you can exchange head 
shots and resumes." 

Although many aspiring talents head to 




Tamara Jenkins' 

Fugitive Love is among 

the shorts that have 

been screened at the 

popular Fifth Night 

scriptreading series. 

Courtesy Boyfriend 
Productions, Inc. 



the Nuyorican for a 
taste of what is per- 
haps the only weekly 
venue for unproduced 
screenplays in the city, 
only a select few ever 
nab a seat, and every- 
one must pay a $7 
admission charge at 
the door. "You have to be on the list to get 
in. It's not, like, just off the street," says 
Natalie Ross, a freelance producer of com- 
mercials, who is looking to get into features. 
Ross is there with friends of screenwriter 
Alan Madison, whose work will be read that 
evening, and his agent Jill Bock from the 
Tantleff Office. Bock calls the event "an 
incredible way to get a screenplay noticed 
and introduce new writers to the communi- 
ty." She should know: she's placed two 
scripts in the reading series so far. 

The project's two directors and its adviso- 
ry board choose and schedule scripts for the 
series based on merit and feasibility as an 
unstaged reading. They will accept finished, 
feature-length scripts from agents or individ- 
uals, but the required application materials 
offer a caveat: "Certain genres such as sci fi 
and action adventure may be unsuitable," 
the material reads, "because readings rely 
heavily on descriptive narrative." 

Madison's screenplay, Trouble on the 
Comer, a dark comedy about a psychiatrist 
and his patients, had just one previous infor- 
mal reading. Tonight the entire script is read 
by a cast of 12 professionals, including 
actress Tovah Feldshuh. The audience is 
silent throughout, but when the lights go up, 
the stage is rushed. Madison and his wife, 



8 THE INDEPENDENT May 1 994 




Making a Film or Video in the Visual Arts? 



ART 

ON 

FILM 



a 
o 

g Mill 

Program for Art on Film 
Department lb 
980 Mad'uon Avenue 
New York, NY 10021 



Art On Film Gives You 
The Full Picture. 

In today's competitive film world, under-researched means under-funded. Fortunately, for film and video mak- 
ers in the visual arts, the Art on Film Database Service offers a simple, inexpensive and thorough approach to 
film research. 

The Art on Film Database contains information on over 18,000 films and videos in the visual arts from more 
than 70 countries. It's convenient. It's extensive. And it's the essential first step to help you: 

• Bolster Funding Proposals — Search for films in your subject area to prove the uniqueness of your project and 
its contribution to the field. 

• Profit from Colleague Work — Search for a technique, time or medium — make your production flawless. 

• Review Experience of Collaborators — Search for cinematographers, directors and editors to review their past 
work in visual arts film and video. 

• Target Potential Distributors — Search to identify distributors who handle works similar to yours. 

Easy on your budget, Art on Film charges per search, not per hour. The low one-time only sign-up fee 
includes your first search. For quick questions, a telephone "ready reference service'' is free to subscribers. 

If you're making a film or video in the visual arts, get the full picture. Call Art on Film today at (212) 988-4876 
or send us a fax at (212) 628-8963. 

A joint venture of The Metropolitan Mtutettm of Art and the J. Paul Getty Tru.it 



WORLDWIDEVIEWS 




Worldwide Television News® is the definitive 
source for archive and background footage 

of news, sports, personalities, locations, 

history and much more. computerized for 

direct access. any tape format. call for 

all your production requirements. 

1 -800-526-1161 




wm 



STOCK & ARCHIVE FOOTAGE • INTERNATIONAL NEWS GATHERING • CAMERA CREWS • PRODUCTION FACILITIES • SATELLITE SERVICES 

1995 BROADWAY NEW YORK, NY 10023 Tel: (212) 362-4440 Fax: (212) 496-1269 Copyright 1993 Worldwide Television News Corporation 



May 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 9 




NY's Biggest 
On Line Bang! 

Superb quality, low prices, 
and a helpful, knowledgable 
staff... and now featuring: 

Sony Digital 
Betacam. 

Better than D2, for less, in our 

all component Online: EFX & 

paintbox for$175.00/hr. ! 

As always, ESPI can get you from 

the desktop & small formats to 

full broadcast quality 

•Edit from Hi8, 3/4SP, SVHS 
or BetaSP in fully equipped 
cuts only rooms. Cut your 
reel at special rates. 

•BetaSP packages- complete, 
starting at $375.00/day. 

•Three days to a week on Hi8 
rentals! Check out Sony's 
hot 3-chip EVW 300. 

•Paint, animate, capture, scan, 
and output on state of the 
art Mac and SGI systems in 
our Digital Image Lab. 

•IMC robotic video stand, for 

real-time slide & picture 

animation. + + 

RIC if* 

PRODUCTIONS, INC. 

15 West 26th Street 
NYC, NY 10010 
212 481-ESPI (3774) 




W* 



Julie, a casting director, are beaming. Bock 
says Madison will most likely get a good writ- 
ing assignment out of the exposure, and — 
who knows? — maybe Trouble on the Comer 
will one day get made. 

The readings are cast some weeks by big 
industry names such as Ellen Lewis and 
Todd Thaler, both of whom sit on the Fifth 
Night's 11 -member advisory board, along 
with Michael Peyser, Larry Meistrich, and 
others active in New York's film community. 
Name actors including Alan Arkin, Tony 
Goldwyn, and Polly Draper have participat- 
ed in the readings. Sadly, the short films, 
which are screened after 10 p.m., are less of 
a draw; far fewer people stayed on for 
Tamara Jenkins' 13 -minute film, Fugitive 
Love, a self-described "thinking woman's B- 
movie" made in 1991. 

Says Amy Henry, although the screenings 
are an important part of the Fifth Night, the 
initial idea was to demystify the way devel- 
opment works in the film industry. She and 
Laura wanted to "give writers a way to see 
what works and what doesn't, and to give 
the film community a place to hang out." 
"The success," she admits, "has been sort of 
overwhelming, which I guess shows there 



tf£0-NAZI DOC RAISES 
IRE IN GERMANY 

"Outside of Germany, people don't under- 
stand why Germans are so divided," says 
Heinz Badewitz, who, since 1977, has run 
the New German Film section of the Berlin 
International Film Festival. He is referring to 
the controversy that ensued recently over 
Winifred Bonengel's 1993 German docu- 
mentary Beruf: Neonazi (Profession: Neo- 
Nazi), which was barred from screening at 
Berlin's European Film Market this year. 
The market runs concurrently with the 
Berlin festival in February, and, unlike the 
fest, is by and large open to anyone who pays 
the $330 feature-length screening fee. "The 
[market] turns down films, but they don't 
give political reasons," says Torsten 
Teichert, director of the Hamburg Filmburo, 
which provided DM 100,000 ($65,000)— a 
quarter of the film's total funding. As with 
many German films, Berufs budget was 
pieced together from a variety of govern- 
ment-subsidized regional film offices. 

Bonengal's 83-minute documentary opens 
with a brief interview with Ernst Zundel, a 




was a need for this sort of thing." 

Filmmakers interested in submitting 
works to Fifth Night should contact Henry 
or Laura at (212) 529-9329. To request an 
application for screenplay submission, write 
to: The Fifth Night, PO Box 20328, Tomp- 
kins Square Station, New York, NY 10009. 
To reserve a seat at Fifth Night (236 E. 3rd 
St.), call (212) 529-9329. 

Robert Kolker 

Robert Kolker is a news and features reporter for The 
Westsider in New York City. 



fascist who fled to 
Canada in the 1950s 
and who now produces 
neo-Nazi propaganda. 
The remainder of the 
film focuses on a 29- 
year-old neo-Nazi and 
includes a visit to 
Auschwitz and a 15- 
minute, uncut malediction. "The danger," 
says Teichert, "is that the filmmaker did not 
make his stance clear with the cutting and 



Writer/director Dan 
Levy (center) as Simon 
Rosenthal in Without 
Me, one of five films on 
right-wing violence in 
Germany commis- 
sioned by WDR. 
Courtesy filmmaker 



10 THE INDEPENDENT May 1 994 



editing." Michael Nimmermann of Unidoc, 
Berufs international television distributor, 
attributes the uproar surrounding the film in 
Germany to the absence of a voiceover, 
which has become common practice. 
"Documentaries all have commentaries to 
explain the images. [The German audience] 
is used to this," he says. 

Although the film was officially banned in 
Frankfurt, it has had limited screenings and 
aired on Germany's VOX, a private TV sta- 
tion. The televised broadcast, edited to 30 
minutes, was followed by a 100-minute dis- 
cussion. 

Those who have protested against the 
documentary say it is too one-sided — com- 
pletely neglecting the viewpoint of dissenters 
and victims. "The [pro-Nazi] arguments are 
very sophisticated. It occurs how people 
might get attracted to this guy," Teichert 
says. "Those 10 to 20 percent of Germans 
with tendencies toward right-wing fascist 
ideologies might be swayed." 

The Berlinfilm festival's Badewitz dis- 
counted Beruf as offering anything really 
new. This year, however, his section of New 
German Films did include an anthology of 
five short films commissioned by WDR 
German television, all of which dealt with 
the same theme: the right-wing extremist 
violence that occurred during the autumn of 
1992 in post-unified Germany. The five 
works, all under 20 minutes, approached the 
subject as both documentary and fiction. 
They included: Dani Levy's Without Me, 
Gerd Kroske's Short Circuit, Maris Pfeiffer's 
A Small Town Suicide, Philip Groning's 
Victims and Witnesses, and Uwe Janson's Holy 
Cows. 

Without Me, a 20-minute fictional work 
shot in video and 16mm, is by director, 
writer, and actor Dani Levy, who achieved a 
modicum of recognition with the no-budget 
feature I Was on Mars in 1991. However, 
Levy's on- and off-screen partner, actress 
Maria Shrader, said Without Me has been the 
greatest boost to Levy's career. Levy, who is 
Jewish, moved to Germany from Switzerland 
as an adult. In Without Me, he plays Simon, 
a Jew living in present-day Germany whose 
paranoia about neo-fascists turns him into a 
virtual recluse. Simon's girlfriend scoffs at his 
overblown reactions. The scenes of Simon 
running scared from one destination to 
another, scored with music by Bobby 
McFerrin, are hauntingly powerful. 

Shrouded beneath a fictional premise, 
Without Me has evoked far less controversy 
than Beruf: Neonazi- Still, Teichert believes 
Berufs in-your-face focus on a single neo-fas- 
cist leaves viewers with a lasting impression. 
"I've never seen material like this. You're so 
close to the bad guy..." he says. "It makes one 
realize the bad is inside." 

Julia Hammer 

]ulia Hammer was a contributor to Moving Pictures 

Berlinale during the 1 994 Berlin Film Festival, and is 

national conference administrator for the Association of 

Independent Commercial Producers. 



HM RIFKEN PRODUCTIONS INC. 

P.O. Box 222 • 21 Glenwood Ave. 
Leonia, New Jersey 07605 



EXPERIENCED CAMERAMAN OFFERS: 

PRE AND POST PRODUCTION SERVICES 

COMPLETE FIELD PACKAGE 

FULL INSURANCE COVERAGE 

NARRATIVE 
DOCUMENTARY • TRAINING VIDEOS 

Plus 

Fluent Spanish 

Experience in 

Latin America and Europe 

C lients Include : 

ESPN, NBC, CNN, MTV 

NICKELODEON 

FRONTLINE 

FEATURE VIDEO PRODUCTION COMPANIES 

TEL: (201) 461-5132 PAGER: (201) 996-7599 
FAX: (201) 461-5013 NYC (917) 728-0141 



COULTER 
&SANDS 



Independent 
Insurance Brokers 

All Forms of Insurance 



56 Beaver St. #801 

New York, NY 10004-2436 

tel: 212-742-9850* fax:212-742-0671 

Contact: Debra Kozee 

Members: AICP, AIVF, IFP & NYWIF 



Mac Video Post Production 




Premier Non-Linear Editing 

Director Programming 

Photoshop Graphics 

CoSA After Effects 

Hi-8 Productions 

3D Animation 



W 



00( 



Interactive CD-ROM 

Design 
Programming 

Training 

All of the above and more... 



Renaissance Productions 575-6100 

2 9 West 3 8 th Street, 3rd Floor 



May 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 11 



• Time code generation 

• 3/4"SP, Hi8, VHS dubs 

• Window dubs 

• Character generation 




• 3-D Graphic 
design/prod. 

• Mac Graphic design 

• Special effects 



CsoiHor 

Video Production • Animation 
3/4"SP-Hi8 A-B Roll Amiga 4000 Toaster Edit System 



Top-quality professional productions for 

Absolutely the Best Prices in Town 



Will work with your budget-Call for consultation 

1200 Broadway, Ste. 2B, NY, NY 10001 212-889-1601 ~fax~212-889- 1602 



NewCity Productions 

development/ production / post-production 






Full On-Line Editing Suite 
Specialists - HI-8 & Beta SP 
Digital Video Effects 
Broadcast Quality 



High Quality 

Service at the Most 

Competitive Prices 

in Town 

Call now & ask about our 

SPECIAL 

COMPLEMENTARY 

OFFER 









Film / Video Scoring 
Time Code Services 
Video Transfers 



NewCity Productions, Inc. 

635 Madison Avenue J 

New York, NY 10022 
212.753.1326 Fax 212.371.2825 






k $ f** * ' *• 






LATIN AMERICAN FEST 
DEBATES TV'S FUTURE 

For the past 18 years, the town of Huelva on 
the southwest coast of Spain has hosted the 
annual Festival of Latin American Cinema. 
This past year, the film festival expanded its 
repertoire of film activities to include 
Encuentros de Television, meetings of 
European and Latin American regional tele- 
vision stations. The stated goals of the week- 
long meetings (held November 20 to 27, 
1993) were twofold: to discuss common 
issues that local, independent television sta- 
tions face, such as providing public service 
while remaining economically viable, and to 
establish an infrastructure for exchanging 
programs between buyers and makers from 
around the world. As festival director Diego 
Figueroa emphasized, "The prime aim of 
these meetings is the interchange of ideas 
and relations at all levels among European 
and Latin American television channels." 

Attending the Encuentros could benefit 
U.S. independents, alternative programmers, 
and community media advocates in a num- 
ber of ways. For independents, it provides a 
vehicle to screen work before an interna- 
tional audience of buyers, programmers, and 
makers. It is also a forum for exploring 
coproduction opportunities with Latin 
American and European television execu- 
tives. For alternative TV programmers, it 
provides a chance to see what is being pro- 
duced and circulated on the alternative tele- 
vision circuit and to find out how to pur- 
chase such work. For community media 
advocates, it is an opportunity to share sto- 
ries and strategies with international col- 
leagues dedicated to the concept of making 
television a vehicle for community commu- 
nication in the public's interest. 

Instead of aiming for the commercial 
heart like so many other international festi- 
vals, the Encuentros focused on coalition 
building: how independent producers can 
form associations to realize projects; how 
independent stations can stimulate more 
regional and international programming 
through coproduction. "The Encuentros is 
about commercializing," says Karen Ranucci 
of International Media Exchange in New 
York, who attended the Encuentros, "but 
not in the perverse sense... It's about trying 
to build bridges, to build alliances towards 
collective ends." According to Encuentros 
director Valenti Gomez i Oliver, "Our goal is 
to create a space where producers whose 
work traditionally has a hard time in the 
commercial world of the big markets can 
meet television executives and exchange 
ideas, barter, discuss future coproductions, 
and learn about what others are doing." 
Although networking was the primary' objec- 
tive, buying and selling took place through- 
out the week-long event. 

Encuentros participants included regional 



12 THE INDEPENDENT May 1 994 






television executives, programming direc- 
tors, independent producers, policy analysts, 
visual anthropologists, community media 
activists, and local television enthusiasts. 
Three representatives from the U.S. attend- 
ed the premiere Encuentros, but there were 
at least six film- and videomakers from the 
States showing their work at the festival. 
Aside from the myriad of activities associat- 
ed with the film festival, each day of the 
Encuentros was packed with presentations, 
screenings, and discussions. 

Mornings featured keynote speakers 
delivering papers on specific aspects of inde- 
pendent regional television. Lecture topics 
included coproduction strategies, future 
telecommunications policies, and emerging 
technologies. After each presentation, the 
audience debated the content. Typically, the 
presentations lasted about 45 minutes while 
the ensuing discussions usually ran for well 
over an hour. Every afternoon, station exec- 
utives, independent producers, and local 
television advocates were invited to sched- 
ule themselves for hour-long presentations. 
This allowed for greater participation and 
representation of independent producers 
and makers. It also exposed participants to a 
variety of organizations and provided a 
dynamic forum for exchanging ideas and 
strategies, and to view work from a wide 
range of locales. 

Presentation topics ranged from regional 
television's relations with independent pro- 
ducers, to the public service functions played 
by local channels. 

The festival provided booths equipped 
with monitors and playback decks for orga- 
nizations, independents, and television 
channels to view work and exchange infor- 
mation. There were also informal roundta- 
bles which brought together visual anthro- 
pologists, independents, and community 
media advocates to highlight innovative uses 
of the television medium. One roundtable, 
for example, dealt with the issue of broad 
cultural participation, focusing on how com- 
munity television can be a forum for any- 
thing from ethnographic self-representation 
to the creative expression of independent 
voices and visions of the local population. 

Gomez i Oliver plans to publish the posi- 
tion papers, related articles, and organiza- 
tional information collected during the 
Encuentros to distribute at the second annu- 
al Encuentros de Television, which will be 
held late this fall in Seville, Spain. 
Independents from the U.S. whose work has 
a focus or roots in Latin American or 
European issues and/or experience are 
encouraged to attend. 

For more information contact: Carmen 
Acosta, General Secretary, Encuentros TV, 
c/o Granado 4, URB. El Almendral, 41927 
Mairena del Aljarafe, Sevilla, Spain; tel: 
011-34-5-418-0366; 011-34-5-453-1345 
(fax). 

JESIKAH MARIA ROSS 

jesikah maria toss is production and human resources 

manager at Davis Community Television and an active 

member of the Alliance for Community Media. 



For seven years, Tapestry has 
brought the finest independent 
films to international television 
audiences. Now Tapestry 
represents the best of PBS 
through our new acquisition, 
Puhlic Television International. 
Consider us your international 
partner for distribution, 
pre-sales and co-production. 

TAPESTRY AND PTI. 

TWO TERRIFIC CATALOGS. 

ONE GREAT COMPANY. 

Tapestry International, Ltd. 

920 Broadway 

New York, NY 10010 

212.677.6007 Fax: 212.473.8164 



Ray Benjamin Video 



29 West 15th Street 
New York, NY 10011 
212-242-4820 

Post Production Services 

On-Line / Off -Line 

Hi8-3/4"SP & 3/4"SP-3/4"SP 

8 tracks of audio for video 

Titles - Graphics - Digital FX 

Toaster 4000 w/Amilink Controller 

Window Dubs 

Hi8 - 3/4"SP - 3/4" 
SVHS - VHS 

Production Services 

Hi8 acquisition 
Studio on premises 

Reasonable Rates 

Clients include: Ad Agencies, Major 

Corporations, Documentary and 

Independent Producers 

12 years experience. 
Patience and guidance are free. 



THE DEPARTMENT OF FILM AND VIDEO 
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART 

CORDIALLY INVITES YOU 
TO CELEBRATE 

STONEWALL 25 



u 



GAYS AND FILM: 



99 



JUNE 17TH TO JULY 12TH 



FOR DAILY SCREENING SCHEDULE, 
PLEASE CALL (212) 708-9480 



Admission to screenings included in Museum admission. 
This series presented in conjunction with Media Network and is sponsored in part by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. 



May 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 13 



7a/feirigHeads 





Clean, Shaven 

odge Kerrigan's 
80-minute por- 
trait of a schizo- 
phrenic's implo- 
sive journey home approximates 
the experience of someone who 
is clinically on the edge. 
Immediately one understands 
why the film has garnered excit- 
ed praise at festivals from view- 
ers and critics. Contrary to 
Hollywood's rulebook, Clean, 
Shaven 's first 10 minutes con- 
tain no dialogue, but instead 
thrust us into a hallucinatory 
subjectivity. Radio signals and 
disembodied voices hover over 
shots of wheatfields, electrical 
lines, and the protagonist 
crouched in an asylum cell. 

"The subject matter I chose allowed for a 
nonlinear narrative," says Kerrigan about his 
first feature film, which he wrote, directed, 
and produced. The film's fractured and spare 



storyline fol- 
lows Peter 
Winter (Pe- 
ter Greene) 
after he 

leaves the 
asylum and 
travels home 
to Miscou Is- 
land, Cana- 
da, in search 
of his young 
daughter. 

An off- 
screen mur- 
der occurs, 
and Peter is 
pegged as the 
obvious sus- 
pect. By the 
end, the 

murder re- 
mains some- 
what unre- 
solved, in an 
effort to con- 
front the 
audience's 
notions of 
mental ill- 
ness. 

"Certain 
violence is permissible 
in society," explains the 
director. "The detec- 
tive [in the film] is enti- 
tled by society to have and use a gun. But a 
person who is perceived as crazy is not 
acceptable," he continues. "It's easy for an 
audience to assume that Peter is violent, a 
murderer. I hope that comes into question by 
the end." 

In researching schizophrenia, Kerrigan 
found that a common symptom of the dis- 
ease is the sufferer's elaborate justifications 
of his delusions. In the film, Peter thinks a 
receiver has been implanted in his head and 
a transmitter under his fingernail. Kerrigan 
wanted to document such a person's deteri- 
oration and sense of rejection by society, 
working in opposition to the usual film rep- 
resentations of the mentally ill as cute props. 
"Peter's a man trying to hang onto himself, 
someone marginalized by society and imme- 
diately suspect, someone who is searching, 
while his mind is breaking down," says 
Kerrigan. Like Taxi Driver (a film he says 
greatly influenced him, along with the early 
works of Wim Wenders and Roman 
Polanski) , Clean, Shaven seems to be about a 
specific psychological condition, and, more 
broadly, about the loneliness of perception. 
Kerrigan agrees that his feature is about 
loneliness. "In the narrative, I played on the 
absence of Peter's father," he says. "Many of 
the voices were accusatory male voices. That 
kind of absence is universal." 

Audience response to Clean, Shaven has 
been intense, to the point where a few view- 



ers have fainted during the scene in which 
Peter cuts out his fingernail while trying to 
reach the transmitter switch. Kerrigan is 
somewhat disappointed that this scene has 
been emphasized so much in reviews. "The 
violence is connected to Peter's illness; it's 
dramatically necessary. When he carves his 
nail out, there's a close-up of his unblinking 
face. That kind of blunting, that lack of 
response, is a symptom of schizophrenia. It 
just isn't clean Hollywood violence. I find it 
interesting that no one was disturbed by the 
shooting in the film." 

Kerrigan, a graduate of New York 
University's film school, has worked as direc- 
tor of photography on music videos, docu- 
mentaries, and other independent produc- 
tions in order to pay the bills. With his short 
Boy Meets Girl, So What?, the last of five 
short films he made, Kerrigan began his 
working relationship with Clean, Shaven's 
executive producer, J. Dixon Byrne. 

Clean, Shaven was a shoestring produc- 
tion, shot on weekends when the money was 
available. As a result of this patchwork 
schedule, the film was in the works for three 
years — two in production and one in post. 
Kerrigan, an affable 29-year-old with a mor- 
dant sense of humor, developed a healthy 
attitude to the trials of this off-and-on effort. 
"Making Clean, Shaven changed the way I 
thought about film production," he says, 
"until I relished the idea of making a film 
day-to-day. I was happy to be a filmmaker for 
three years. The crew was exceptional and 
stabilizing. We were working against the 
clock, and it was very difficult to maintain 
visual continuity. It was really important to 
work with intelligent people, so you didn't 
have to explain everything." 

Throughout this time, Byrne and the 
other core crew stuck with the project. So 
did the lead, Peter Greene, who since his 
strong performance in Laws of Gravity has 
become much in demand. Greene was cast 
before Laws of Gravity started rehearsals. "I 
spent six weeks auditioning for the role of 
Peter Winter, but I when I saw Peter 
Greene, I knew I wanted him for the role," 
the director recalls. "He intuitively under- 
stood the character's anxiety. He ended up 
being able to play the part consistently, even 
with all of the time-gaps in shooting." They 
were still filming after Laws of Gravity was 
released. 

Kerrigan also had the help of friends and 
family. Principal photography began on 
Miscou Island, New Brunswick, in August 
1990, where they shot for 19 days. Kerrigan's 
Canadian mother and many of his relatives 
live and work on the island as fishermen. 
"My family put the crew up and fed them 
fresh lobster. My cousin Nicole played 
Peter's daughter and many supporting parts 
were performed by family members." 

The sound design, which was written into 
the original script, is a critical element in the 
film, conveying the psychological state of the 
main character far more than the dialogue. 



14 THE INDEPENDENT May 1994 



Kerrigan relied on Tony Martinez and 
Michael Parsons to help create the final 52- 
track mix, which the director characterizes 
as "sound that works against the images." Jay 
Rabinowitz, who also edited Night on Earth, 
spent five weeks on the fine cut. 

On the festival circuit, Clean, Shaven has 
been screened at Telluride, Sundance, New 
Directors/New Films, and the Chicago Film 
Festival, where it won a Silver Hugo for first 
feature. This month it goes to Cannes in the 
"Un Certain Regard" section. 

A strong advocate of films that break with 
convention, Kerrigan shows little interest in 
moving to that high-concept Babylon on the 
West Coast. "Being an independent, I accept 
the way things are and work with the free- 
dom and limitations of low-budget film. I 
wouldn't close my options, but I prefer the 
independent community, where people sup- 
port each others' work and are really inter- 
ested in what other people are doing. And 
I'm so influenced by my environment," he 
says, laughing, "that I think I'll stay in New 
York. If I go to LA., I'll start wearing beige 
pants or something." 

Kerrigan's next script plays on similar 
themes of absence and troubled father- 
daughter relationships. The dark plot cen- 
ters around what Kerrigan calls "a hysterical 
pregnancy as a defense against incest." It will 
be produced by Good Machine Productions, 
which acted as sales agent for Clean, Shaven. 

Asked what other kinds of films he'd like 
to make, Kerrigan responds, "A film without 
dialogue. Why isn't non-dialogue accept- 
able? The insistence on wall-to-wall dialogue 
in filmmaking is so steadfast, it might as well 
be a religion." With his own insistence on 
picturing those outside the social order and 
creating "new structures" for their stories, we 
can be assured Kerrigan is embarking on a 
singular and fascinating path. 

Alissa Quart, a recent graduate of Brown University, 

lives in Manhattan and writes about film, 

poetry, and fiction. 




hose who caught the 
non- subtitled rough 
cut of Zhang Yuan's 
Beijing Bastards at last year's 
Rotterdam International Film 
Festival may have felt they were 
experiencing deja vu when the 
film again appeared in the 1994 
fest catalogue. What they actu- 
ally experienced, however, was 
what many perceive as a blatant 
case of censorship on the part 
of China's government. 

Beijing Bastards — a low-budget feature 
about Beijing's younger, counterculture gen- 
eration by the man recognized as China's 
first filmmaker to work completely outside 
the studio system — was indeed shown at 
Rotterdam two years in a row. 

Zhang's new feature, Chicken Feathers on 
the Ground, originally was scheduled to 
screen this year as part of an extensive pro- 
gram of new Chinese cinema, which includ- 
ed Tian Zhuangzhuang's The Blue Kite, 
Wang Xiaoshuai's The Days, and He Yi's Self 
Portrait. But just six days into production, 
government authorities forced the filmmak- 
er to stop work on the project. Apparently 
Zhang had angered government officials by 
independently producing the film, thus 
bypassing the studio system, and by shipping 
copies of Bastards to screen at numerous 
international festivals (including Tokyo and 
Rotterdam) without the approval of China's 
Film Board. 

Ning Dai, Zhang's wife and Wang Xiao- 
shuai's sister, was hired by one of the film's 
investors to record the Chicken Feathers 
shoot on videotape for promotional purpos- 
es. But when the filming came to a halt, 

by Michele Shapiro 



ning dai 

VIDEO DOCUMENTARIAN 




Ning's funding was severed as well. She 
decided quickly, however, to continue 
recording the potentially dramatic aftermath 
at her own expense. 

Ning, 35, gingerly sips tea from a plastic 
cup in the festival press lounge as she recalls 
the sequence of events. Her initial decision, 
she says, was not met with the approval of 
crew members. "They thought there was a 
chance to continue filming [Chicken 
Feathers], and that I might hurt that 
chance," she explains with the assistance of 
a translator. "Also, they were afraid some- 



thing would happen to them if [authorities] 
saw the tape. But I realized what I was doing 
was exceptional," she adds, referring to her 
role as the first woman in Mainland China to 
independently produce a video documen- 
tary. The completed 100-minute project, 
Discussions Caused by a Film's Filming Being 
Stopped, also has the distinction of being the 
first such project to be screened at an inter- 
national film festival. 

Ning's video, inconsistent both in content 
and quality, has three sections: the first, 
which documents the Chicken Feathers 
shoot, lasts only a few minutes. Color and 
noise abound as crowds gather around 
Zhang and his crew to witness the shoot on 
the streets of Beijing. The second section, 
which could be called the Aftermath, has a 
less polished, more amateurish feel. The 
sound quality is often poor, yet there is an 
inherent excitement as the drama unfolds. 
During an interview with Zhang, the visibly 
dejected director instructs his wife to turn off 
her camera. Ning also captures a hotel-room 
meeting of crew and investors (the only one, 
she says, that she was allowed to videotape) 
during which they plot their strategy on 
whether to proceed with the filming. The 
doc's most poignant moment, and Ning's 
favorite, comes when Zhang, at home in 
their small apartment, sets fire to the 
Chicken Feathers script. 

The third section of Discussions consists of 
interviews with Chinese documentarians, 
film professors, and actors, all of whom 
express similar concerns about the lack of 
free expression in their country. After a 
while, the independent thinkers begin to 
sound an awful lot alike. 

Although the small-framed, strong-mind- 
ed Ning graduated from the Beijing Film 
Academy in 1989 (seven years after Zhang 
Yimou, she points out), she had concentrat- 
ed primarily on scriptwriting before 
Discussions. Both her father and mother are 
teachers at the music conservatory in 
Beijing, and Ning says she has always been 
interested in film. Prior to the Cultural 
Revolution, she watched Korean and 
Vietnemese pictures. At the film academy, 
she had her first taste of American films. 
Now she tends to view her favorites — Italian 
and French works, particularly those of 
Truffaut — again and again. 

Despite her love of the film medium, Ning 
praises video because, unlike film, it is wide- 
ly accessible and affordable. For her next 
video documentary project, Ning hopes to 
focus on women's status in China. "Our 
country has changed so much over the years, 
and I want to know what women think 
about the changes," she says. 

Change has come slowly to the film indus- 
try in China, and prior to our meeting, a 
spokesperson from the Chinese Embassy had 
conveyed to festival director Emile Fallaux 
that the screening of unauthorized Chinese 
films, including Ning's, would have a "nega- 
tive effect on the relationship between the 



Discussions Caused by a Film's Filming Being Slopped 



May 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 15 



festival and the Chinese government." After 
consulting the numerous Chinese directors 
present in Rotterdam, Fallaux decided to 
continue the screenings. When asked if she 
fears returning home and whether she would 
consider living elsewhere to pursue her artis- 
tic freedom, Ning's seemingly genuine 
response would probably appease the author- 
ities. "My roots are in China. Things there 
are improving slowly. Before films could only 
be made with studios. Now there are several 
independent films." She pauses and adds, 
"Things will get better." 

Michele Shapiro is managing editor of The 
Independent. 



hamilton fish 

FESTIVAL 



this festival is full of principle. It showcases 
films and videos dealing with various human 
rights issues, such as freedom of speech, due 
process, and women's rights. The festival is a 
project of Human Rights Watch, an interna- 
tional organization based in New York that 
monitors human rights practices and viola- 
tion of laws by governments. 

"You're dealing with themes which are, by 
definition, not happy," says Fish. "Some- 
times there's a resolution, which is positive, 
but the cumulative weight of this material is 
not fun." Lucky for Fish, the festival, cur- 
rently in its fifth year, doesn't need escapist 
films, paparazzi, or stars in order to pack the 
theater. Whether showing fiction, anima- 
tion, documentary, or shorts, the festival 
aims to provoke thought; its larger goal is to 
encourage more filmmakers to explore this 



BY B.J. SlGESMUND 



DIRECTOR 



merit. 

A colorful bead in Manhattan's cultural 
necklace, Fish, 42, had a long career before 
joining Human Rights Watch as a senior 
adviser in 1989. Although he revived and 
expanded the film festival in 1991, the filmic 
road of his career began 20 years ago. 

After college, Fish coproduced The 
Memory of justice (1976), one of the many 
political documentaries directed by his 
friend Marcel Ophuls. The film played at the 
Cannes and New York Film Festivals, and 
Ophuls — son of feature director Max 
Ophuls — went on to a career in film. Fish, 
the son and grandson of Republican 
Congressmen, took a different path. 

In 1977, he stepped into the publisher's 
chair at the left-leaning weekly The Nation, 
which caused "a great deal of distress" with- 
in his family. He put his film career on hiatus 
at that time, he says, because "I was inexpe- 
rienced and entrepreneurial without being 
particularly knowledgeable about how to 
work those vineyards. This other opportuni- 
ty seemed to play more to my strengths." 
Indeed. Over the 10 years he guided The 
Nation, circulation went from 17,000 to 



The Human Rights Watch Film 



amilton Fish, 
the progressive, 
reserved, and 
well-connected 
director of the 
Human Rights 
Watch Film 
Festival, has 
been many things over the 20 
years since he finished college: 
publisher of The Nation; political 
candidate; film producer. So in 
1989 when he tried growing his 
own organic vegetables in 
Livingston, New York, and sell- 
ing them in the Union Square 
Greenmarket in Manhattan, it 
was just another venture. Yet 
when the enterprise failed, he 
finally saw a pattern. "It was too 
weighted on the side of principle 
and not on the side of market- 
ing," he says, "a common prob- 
lem in my work." 

With the Human Rights Watch Film 
Festival, he may have solved that problem. 
Far from the marketing blitzes other world- 
wide festivals have become in recent years, 




terrain. "Our audience is coming here 
because they're getting something they can't 
get anywhere else," says Fish. A film's aes- 
thetic value is important, he notes, but 
what's essential is that it have some political 



100,000. 

Fish joined Ophuls again in 1984 for a 
five-year project, producing Hotel Terminus: 
The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie, a docu- 
mentary of the Gestapo chief. By the time 



16 THE INDEPENDENT May 1 994 



MVf 



12 REASONS TO 

JOIN AIVF 

TODAY 



1. The Independent 

2. Festival Bureau Services 

3. Information Services 

4. Networking 

5. Advocacy 

6. Discounted Books 

7. Access to Insurance 

8. Professional Service 

Discounts 
9. Seminars 
10. Distribution Info 
11. Members' Tape Library 
12. Other Member Privi- 
leges 



iifiiW 



^^M 



W 



.•■■■•'.•■'■'. 

;■■.:■■■■;:/;- .::; ■= -.■;...-■. ' 
■■:.■■■■■.>:■>■■■:■■:>- 



the documentary won an Academy Award 
for Best Feature Documentary in 1989, Fish 
had left The Nation and entered — then exit- 
ed — politics. After many generations of con- 
servatives (his grandfather reportedly hated 
President Roosevelt and campaigned against 
the New Deal), Fish ran as a Democrat for 
Westchester County's congressional seat. "It 
was never an act of rebelliousness to adopt a 
different political perspective, "he recalls. 
"These were entirely different times." 

But Fish was defeated. "There's a certain 
price he pays for being from this family and 
having seen all of his family members have 
such success," says a former coworker. "He 
just feels it's coming to him." Nonetheless, 
Fish picked himself back up and found his 
way to Human Rights Watch and the festi- 
val. 

For many filmmakers who are not as well- 
connected, the festival provides a high-pro- 
file venue. This year about 60 works will be 
screened at the Loews theater in the East 
Village over the two weeks from April 29 to 
May 12. The films then travel to Los 
Angeles' Nuart Theater (opening June 9) 
and to Washington D.C. in the fall. More 
sites will no doubt follow, if 1993 is any 
gauge. Last year the festival travelled to Los 
Angeles, Boston, East Hampton, Berkeley, 
Seattle, Olympia, Portland, Palm Springs, 
and abroad to Vienna, Venice, Hong Kong, 
and Sarajevo. 

This year German filmmaker Margarethe 
von Trotta was selected for a retrospective 
sidebar, honored for her work with human 
rights. Von Trotta is the first woman to 
receive the award, which was given to 
Ophuls in 1992 and Argentine filmmaker 
Fernando E. Solanas in 1993. "I'm very 
pleased it was a woman, and that she agreed 
to do this," Fish says. "She has some old films 
from the seventies, and some recent ones, 
including The Long Silence (1991), which has 
been widely praised." Other works being 
screened are von Trotta's The Lost Honor of 
Katharina Blum (1975), which she co-direct- 
ed with her husband, Volker Schlondorff, 
Marianne and Julianne (1981), and Rosa 
Luxemburg (1986), which she wrote and 
directed. 

Fish appreciates being on the ground floor 
of an important cultural enterprise, justly 
claiming, "It's established itself early in its 
life as a unique festival." It's anyone's guess 
how many more years the festival's dynamic 
director will remain. But no one will be sur- 
prised if Fish risks jumping out of his bowl 



again. 



B. ]. Sigesmund is an editorial assistant at 
Newsweek-Interactive. 



AIVF is sponsoring a panel on Wednesday, May 
4, on Political Filmmaking in the United States, 
moderated by Hamilton Fish, in conjunction with 
this year's Human Rights Watch Festival (April 
28 - May 12). Location: Loews Villiage Theater 
(11th St. & 3rd Ave., NYC). Cost: $6.50 Call 
AIVF for details: (212) 473-3400. 



JULY 9 - AUGUST 19, 1994 



Film and Video 
iUmmer Institute 

Exciting selection of workshops by industry professionals — 
one day to one week long. 

Production . . Directing . . Screenwriting . . Film Criticism 
Animation.. Editing.. Funding.. Entertainment Law.. Acting 
and many others.. call for brochure. 

Film and Video Summer Institute; University of Hawai'i at Manoa 
P.O. Box 11450, Dept. NF4, Honolulu, Hawai'i 96828 
Phone: (808) 956-3422 
Fax: (808) 956-3421 



IS SOMETHING MISSING IN YOUR LIFE? 

Don't worry. Back issues of The Independent are 
available for $5 per issue: 

December 1993 

Getting the Most from a Sound Studio • Foreign Coproductions: A Mixed 
Blessing 

November 1993 

Japan's Media Mavericks • New Software for Screenwriters • Legal 
Protection for Screenwriters 

October 1993 

Funding From the Foundation's Perspective • The Acquisition/Distribution 
Agreement • New 3 -Chip Camcorders 

March 1993 

International Documentary Coproductions • The Power of Digital 
Workstations • New Feminism, Old Porn 

December 1992 

Foreign Sales: Doing it Yourself • How Foreign Sales Agents Can Work for 
You. 

November 1992 

The Other Queer Cinema: What Women Want • The Next Wave of Hi8 
Cameras • An Interview with PBS's Jennifer Lawson 

Other back issues are also for sale. 

NAME 

MAILING ADDRESS 



TELEPHONE 



ISSUE(S) REQUESTED_ 



AMOUNT ENCLOSED 



Please include check/money order for $5 (incl. postage & handling) with this coupon 
to: Back Issues, The Independent, 625 Broadway, 9th fl., NY, NY 10012 



May 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 17 



Field Reports 



By Michael Fox 





Filmmaker 

Kenji Yamamoto (facing) con 

templates the words of WDR's Werner Dustch 

at the IFFC. 

Photo: Rick Gerharter, courtesy FAF 

The International 

Film Financing 

Conference 

hen American Playhouse's 
Sandra Schulberg began her 
keynote address to the first 
International Film Financing 
Conference (IFFCON) in 
San Francisco with the self- 
deprecating comment that 
she really didn't have much 
about foreign financing to 
pairs of shoulders slumped. 
Although the audience of independent pro- 
ducers chuckled when Schulberg drily 
added, "The only amusement I can offer is 
my hat," a palpable sense of concern about 
the quality and value of the upcoming week- 
end permeated the room. 

After all, IFFCON represented an untest- 
ed experiment to bring European public tele- 
vision executives to these shores to meet Bay 
Area independent producers. Although the 
two-day January seminar was sponsored by 
the redoubtable Film Arts Foundation and 
EBS Productions (a nonprofit organization 
that represents projects to international 
markets), the filmmakers were not entirely 
sure how high to set their expectations. 

But all doubts were ultimately swept away 
in a tidal wave of information, ranging from 
the general philosophies of the six broad- 
casters to specifics such as contact names 
and fax numbers. For independent filmmak- 
ers used to the practiced apathy of PBS and 
local public broadcasting stations, the open- 
mindedness, support, and enthusiasm of the 



knowledge 
impart, 59 



European panelists was nothing less than 
astonishing. The potentially farthest-reach- 
ing impact of IFFCON, however, won't be 
known for quite some time: Several projects 
generated substantial interest from the 
Europeans and may ultimately receive fund- 
ing overseas. 

From the earliest planning stages, EBS 
partner Wendy Braitman — who freely 
acknowledged the Rotterdam Film Festival's 
CineMart as a major source of inspiration — 
intended IFFCON to be a nuts-and-bolts, 
results-oriented conference. When she invit- 
ed Werner Dutsch (WDR-Germany), Anne 
Even (ZDF/Arte-Germany), Nicolas Saada 
(La Sept/Arte-France), Jack Lechner 
(Channel 4-UK), Graham Massey (BBC- 
UK), and Schulberg (American Playhouse's 
European-based senior vice president), 
Braitman made it clear to the panelists that 
they were in for an intensive weekend of 
pitching. The six were provided in advance 
with a dossier containing a two-page descrip- 
tion of each participant's project, and they 
arrived with a list of producers they wanted 
to meet individually. Schulberg, for example, 
conferred with Playhouse cohort Lynn Hoist 
and found four dramatic scripts she wanted 
to see; the BBC's Massey selected 10 projects 
about which he wanted more information. In 
turn, each filmmaker was allowed to select 
one panelist to meet with as part of the 
weekend structure. 

"We made [the broadcasters] come shop- 



ping," Braitman asserts. She estimates that 
the dossier elicited initial interest in some 25 
projects, of which about 20 were documen- 
taries. Revealingly, the half-dozen proposals 
that Braitman believes have the best shot at 
European funding are docs that PBS would 
never consider, such as Michelle Handel- 
man's Women on the Edge (about the political 
activities and sexual choices of women in the 
leather/SM community) and Elaine Trotter's 
Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (a profile of San 
Francisco's theatrical drag activist/educa- 
tors). Of course, the filmmakers have sever- 
al more stages to navigate before a European 
station offers a deal. "It's a long way," 
Braitman conceded, "but it's a lot further 
than they would be without the seminar, 
because it's completely unlike sending some- 
thing cold to someone." 

Although conference attendees showed 
up prepared to do business, they also brought 
a well-honed sense of reality. "I didn't come 
with the expectation that someone would 
write a check," commented Los Angeles 
filmmaker Marco Williams (In Search of Our 
Fathers), who was one of 12 participants who 
journeyed from outside the Bay Area. 
Indeed, the overwhelming majority of inde- 
pendent producers — many of whom had 
prior experience with European funding — 
eagerly turned out for an up-to-the-minute 
scouting report on the continent's accessibil- 
ity to Americans. 

The panelists provided a blend of encour- 



18 THE INDEPENDENT May 1 994 



aging and discouraging news. Although 
European public television is arguably more 
open to American independents than PBS or 
domestic cable, Hollywood's dominance 
overseas has increased pressure on European 
broadcasters to nurture their homegrown 
talent. Consequently, it is becoming increas- 
ingly necessary for American filmmakers to 
line up a coproducer in each targeted coun- 
try, a step that also eases the language and 
logistical headaches. The panelists also rec- 
ommended that producers first raise a por- 
tion of the project's budget in the United 
States before venturing abroad. 

At the same time, the European stations 
want to be involved as early as possible. They 
are far more interested in participating in the 
development process than in acquiring fin- 
ished works, and consequently it behooves 
producers to make contact during prepro- 
duction (if not earlier) . 

Meanwhile, the filmmakers at IFFCON 
appreciated the reminder that the auteur 
theory is alive and well in Europe. "We're 
picky about scripts," Jack Lechner of 
Channel 4 said, "but the material doesn't 
mean anything to us unless we're excited 
about the filmmaker." The advantage of lin- 
ing up a local coproducer notwithstanding, 
the execs agreed that a face-to-face meeting 
with a director to explore his or her vision is 
an essential element in their decision to back 
any project. 

Along the same lines, the panelists unan- 
imously expressed the jaw-dropping senti- 
ment that public television has a responsibil- 
ity to commission and broadcast works with 
a strong and unique point of view. Schulberg 
declared, "The work that's going to have a 
chance to be supported is the most quirky 
and the most distinctive," while La 
Sept/Arte's Saada said, "Some of the most 
interesting things I read or looked at [in San 
Francisco] were deeply rooted in an 
American tradition and didn't try to seduce 
a would-be European image." Their com- 
ments were aimed at dramatic films, but the 
BBC's Massey expressed a similar opinion 
with respect to documentaries: "We're less 
interested in observational 'fly on the wall' 
pieces than we used to be. We prefer a good 
story with a strong personality at the center." 

As it happened, the only reservations 
voiced to me by seminar attendees in the 
course of the weekend came from documen- 
tary filmmakers who felt the panel was 
weighted too heavily toward narrative fea- 
tures. "A lot of questions I had people were 
unequipped to answer," Los Angeles docu- 
mentarian Jay April said, "but they pointed 
me in the right direction." 

San Francisco filmmaker Ashley James 
(And Still We Dance) likewise expressed frus- 
tration over what he termed a lack of 
emphasis on docs, but he was also surprised 
by the panelists' comments that film contin- 
ues to dominate video as the medium of 
choice for Europeans. "The only question I 
have," he said, "is the reluctance the 
Europeans have about getting into video. 
We're in the forefront of that in the Bay 



Area; maybe we have something to teach 
the Europeans." 

But the overwhelming attitude of partici- 
pants was appreciation for the quality and 
commitment of the six panelists. "I heard 
very little about the bottom line here," James 
said. And New York filmmaker Jason Kliot 
(in preproduction on Desperation Angels, 
with Oliver Stone and Michael Stipe 
attached as executive producers) enthused, 
"They were so sickeningly generous. They 
killed themselves for us, and I really respect- 
ed that." 

Another visitor, filmmaker Beth B, who 
was in San Francisco for the opening of her 
multimedia installation, Amnesia, and shared 
her experiences of working with WDR on 
the feature film Two Small Bodies, was 
amazed at the broad institutional coopera- 
tion the conference received. KQED hosted 
the keynote speech and reception afterward, 
while the San Francisco International Film 
Festival threw a glittery party for the pan- 
elists, and the San Francisco Film and Video 
Arts Commission also lent its support. 

Braitman's challenge for next year is 
expanding IFFCON's outreach to filmmak- 
ers around the country while adhering to 
FAF's mandate to serve its membership, the 
great majority of whom live in the Bay Area. 
One idea she's considering is an entire day of 
free events open to local filmmakers at all 
levels, perhaps conveying the kind of basic 
information that seminar attendees paid to 
hear this year. The closed-door sessions of 
IFFCON II, then, would allow an advanced 
level of discussion and even more face-to- 
face pitching. In any event, Braitman swears 
the size of the conference won't change. "I'm 
committed to keeping the intimacy of the 
event," she declares. 

That closeness clearly contributed to the 
high-energy conversation at breaks and 
meals among filmmakers. Although I've 
never been able to satisfactorily locate and 
describe a Bay Area aesthetic (and the 
notion of grouping iconoclastic independent 
filmmakers under an umbrella is oxymoron- 
ic) , the tone of the dialogues — which lacked 
any sense of competition or even networking 
in favor of sharing experiences, solutions, 
contacts, and information — conveyed as 
clear a sense of a filmmaking community as 
one could imagine. Indeed, several partici- 
pants remarked that connecting with their 
equally isolated peers was one of the high- 
lights of the weekend. 

Braitman promises to maintain that cer- 
tain Bay Area joie de vivre and casualness 
that prevailed at this first IFFCON. As the 
American-born Lechner of Channel 4 
observed, "Because it's Bay Area filmmakers, 
they're all very nice. In New York, people 
complain. Here, people have a lot of reason 
to complain, but at least they can go to a 
wonderful restaurant afterward." 

Michael Fox wrote about San Francisco's public televi- 
sion legacy in the March issue of The Independent, 
and writes for SF Weekly, Film/Tape World, and 
other Bay Area publications. 



mmmmmm 




mmikm&mMwm 
wmm 

MIPIA COMPOSER SUITE -4000 

CREATIVE HI-8 
PRODUCTION PACKAGES 

* 

OFFLINE/ONLINE 
PRODUCTION FACILITY 

BETACAM SP * 3/4 



CALL FOR INFORMATION 
ON OUR AFFORDABLE RATES 




DISTINCTIVE 

MULTIMEDIA 



212-366-4818 



Mercer 

Street 
Sound 



Digital Audio for 
Film and Video 

24 Track Digital 

Original Music 
Sound Effects 
Voice Over and ADR 
3/4" Video Lockup 
MIDI Room 
Protools/Fairlight/ADAT 

Discount rates for independents 

212-966-6794 

133 Mercer St. NYC 10012 



May 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 19 




Kartemquin Films 
brought Sundance 
audiences to their 
feet with their doc- 
umentary Hoop 
Dreams. Over seven 
years in the mak- 
ing, the film follows 
two Chicago teens 
as they struggle to 
make the NBA. 
Courtesy Fine Line 
Features 



by Patricia 

Thomson 




The night Los Lobos played at Sundance, Z Place was 
packed to the legal limit long before the band arrived. 
Outside in the teeth-chattering cold, the city's fire marshals 
stood impassively on the steps, blocking a crowd of disori- 
ented festival-goers who milled about with tickets in hand 
but little hope of entering the party anytime soon, despite 
the fact that it was part of their festival package. The next 
day, rumor had it that even Danny DeVito was turned away. 

And so it goes at Sundance, where every year the crowds 
grow thicker and tickets sell out faster. This year was no 
exception, despite the welcome addition of a new screening 
facility — a huge high school auditorium — which added 
20,000 tickets, a 30 percent increase over last year. Even so, 
all of the festival's 1,400 packages (which bundle tickets, 
panel discussions, reception passes, and other special 
event vouchers) were sold out by November for the late 
January event according to festival director Geoffrey 
Gilmore. As a result, many films had waiting lines for their 
waiting lines, and some individual ticket buyers were left 
out in the cold again and again. 

This led many critics to ponder Sundance's "struggle to 
survive success," as a New York Times headline put it, and 
wonder whether the festival is in danger of being overrun by 
Hollywood, what with all the distributors, agents, producers, 
publicists, actors, and hangers-on who have flocked to this 
small ski resort in increasing numbers ever since sex, lies & 
videotape made its breakthrough here in 1989. But as 
Sundance Institute president Robert Redford stalwartty told 
the Times, "I want to keep this festival belonging to the film- 
makers, and make sure it doesn't get co-opted or overpow- 
ered by outside forces." 

Still, at the final night's awards ceremony, Redford 
expressed some impatience with the "threatened by suc- 
cess" articles and all the gibes about the influx of fur coats, 
cellular phones, and Land Rovers. "We welcome them," he 
said, in essence. And so the festival should. Even though 
filmmakers "get slimed a lot" as one low-budget director 
put it, Hollywood's presence makes Sundance one of the 
best opportunities for independents seeking distribution. 



20 THE INDEPENDENT May 1 994 



There are, of course, those stories that 
make filmmakers shake their heads in 
despair. One friend recalls how two young 
Hollywood scouts groaned as the curtain 
opened, "Oh, God, the screen's masked. It 
must be 16mm!" And with that, they bolted 
up the aisle and into the night. 

But the smart buyers stick around. Samuel 
Goldwyn made the first deal just two days 
into the festival, picking up Go Fish, a popu- 
lar lesbian lark by first-time feature director 
Rose Troche. (Goldwyn has recently stepped 
up its acquisitions activities, and now 
includes former Sundance programmer 
Catherine Schulman as its new director of 
domestic acquisitions.) Miramax, known for 
its savvy in sniffing out good buys, scooped 
up Kevin Smith's $27,000 feature Clerks, 
one of the competition's most talked about 
films, as well as Tom Noonan's What 
Happened Was, the surprise winner of the 
Grand Jury Prize in the dramatic category. 
Spanking the Monkey director David Russell 
signed a distribution deal with Fine Line 
Features just minutes before the awards cer- 
emony, where his film won the coveted 
Audience Award for best dramatic feature. 
Strand Releasing picked up Gregg Araki's 
Totally F***ed Up, included in the Premiere 
section, and IRS Releasing acquired rights to 
the Canadian feature I Love a Man in 
Uniform, by David Wellington. 

The documentaries were also generating 
heat, with several picking up theatrical dis- 
tribution deals and others heading towards 
TV dates on P.O.V. or Cinemax. But no 
Sundance soothsayers would have predicted 
the overwhelming response to Hoop Dreams, 
a three-hour documentary that chronicles 
the efforts of two inner-city teens to make it 
into the NBA. The word on this film was so 
genuinely enthusiastic that 150 people had 
to be turned away from the fourth screening, 
and buyers were swarming thick and fast. 

Hoop Dreams is a nice case to remember 
when people accuse Sundance of somehow 
encouraging Hollywood-wannabe work. The 
Chicago-based filmmakers — director Steve 
James, producers Frederick Marx and Peter 
Gilbert, and executive producer Gordon 
Quinn — have a long track record in social 
issue documentaries [see Talking Heads, 
June 1993]. Quinn's production company, 
Kartemquin Films, has been around for 
almost 30 years and never considered 
Hollywood recognition a goal. So the success 
of Hoop Dreams at Sundance is a nice case of 
the dog wagging the tail — of quality inde- 
pendent work, not the buyers, driving the 
festival. 

This surprise hit represents the best of 
dedicated independent documentary film- 
making. Who else but an independent team 
would spend seven-and-a-half years on a sin- 
gle project? — one researching and fundrais- 
ing; two-and-a-half in postproduction; and 
four shooting, following the boys from age 14 
to 18, as they move from being hot shots on 
urban playground courts to serious college 
recruitment material. The result is a richly 
textured film that's about so much more 



CODE 16 

16 MM EDGE NUMBERING 

w Codes Every 16 Frames 

^ Prints on All 16 MM Stock 
Including Polyester 

ft Clearest, Easiest to Read 
Numerals Anywhere 

Lowest Prices Anywhere 

Price per ft $.0125 

1000 ft $12.50 

(212)496-1118 



Same day service - 
Weekends & rush hours possible 



262 W. 91 st St. 
NY, NY 10024 

Monday - Friday 10-5 



WHERE 

EXPERIENCE 

SHOWS 




Serving The Independent Filmmaker For 23 Years. 

A Black/White and Color Full Service Lab 
35mm, 16mm Dailies 

Prep and Clean 

Film to Video Transfer 

Video to Film Transfer 

Student Rates Available 

Film Craft Video 

37630 Interchange Drive • Farmington Hills, Ml 48335 
Sales Office 81 474-3900 • Fax 81 474-8535 

• 

Film Craft Laboratories 

66 Sibley Street • Detroit, Ml 48201 
313 962-2611 • Fax 313 962-9888 



Slides 

4x5's 

8 x lO's 

Flat Art 

Books 

Objects 



If you ever put these 
on video, you're miss- 
ing something special 

if you don't do it at 
Aerial Image. Our pro- 
prietary motion control 
system produces the 
finest moves on stills 
you'll find anywhere. 



FJsUHBUMHA'il.lfrlH^'im 




Aerial Image 

Video Services 

137 West 19th St 

New York, NY 10011 

Ph(212) 229-1930 



May 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 21 



WHEN IT COMES TO 

m 



WE ARE 
THE EXPERTSI 




NEW YORK 

420 LEXINGTON AVENUE 

NEW YORK, N.Y. 1 01 70 - 01 99 

TEL: (212) 867-3550 • FAX: (212) 983-6483 

JOLYON F. STERN, President 

CAROL A. BRESSI, Manager 
Entertainment & Media Division 

LOS ANGELES 

1 1365 VENTURA BOULEVARD 

STUDIO CITY, CA 91604 

TEL: (818) 763-9365 • FAX: (818) 762-2242 

JERRY VANDE SANDE • BILL HUDSON 



AFFILIATES IN: LONDON • PARIS • MUNICH 



MOVIE 

MAGIC 

and much 
much more 



Mac and IBM 
software for pre-production 

the best software for 
screenwriting budgeting 

storyboarding scheduling 

and more 



Macintosh consulting 




201-963-5176 

fax 201-963-8563 



than basketball. Yes, it has the thrill of the 
game, with audiences cheering the courtside 
contests. They do so even as the film dissects 
the great ghetto myth and lays bare the eco- 
nomic pressures behind big league coaching 
and recruitment (which starts in junior high 
school) . But the film's soul is off the court, 
located in the ups and downs of these boys' 
home lives. Parents are laid-off from their 
jobs, a father drifts into drug dealing, a fam- 
ily into welfare; tuition payments can't be 
met, so a son is expelled, then the school 
withholds his transcripts (blocking his ability 
to graduate from public school) until the 
family coughs up $1,800. There are tri- 
umphs, too, and surprise twists and turns in 
this real-life story that put audiences at the 
edge of their seats. 

Last fall, the Kartemquin team sent 
rough-cuts to a number of smaller distribu- 
tors, but this proved a vain effort. "Everyone 
responded almost identically, which was 
they liked the film very much, but they 
thought it was a very difficult problem in 
terms of distribution because of its length," 
recalls Marx. 

Sundance turned everything around. 
"After the first showing — we weren't even in 
town yet — we started getting phone calls in 
Chicago," Marx recalls. "Some of them were 
cranks," he adds. "Literally, one was some- 
thing like, 'Hi, my name is so-and-so. We 
just saw your film; I'm calling from the lobby. 
My husband and I would love to buy the 
film. Would $79.95 be alright?'" Marx 
laughs. "Up until that moment, you're think- 
ing, 'Yeah, this is great!' Then your realize 
they just want a video cassette." 

Bigger offers quickly followed, especially 
after Hoop Dreams won the Audience Award 
for best documentary. "There was a huge 
amount of interest coming from totally 
unexpected quarters," says Marx. "We never 
imagined that the Hollywood industry would 
suddenly be on us like flies on a sweater. It 
was really surprising and certainly flattering." 
Altogether, over two dozen companies were 
in touch. Ivan Reitman, Jodie Foster, Danny 
DeVito, and Madonna sent out feelers, as 
did Disney Productions, Warner Bros., 
Miramax, and Universal, among others. 
However, many were only interested in get- 
ting rights to fictionalize the story. 

Never having been to Sundance before, 
let alone at the center of a feeding frenzy, the 
Kartemquin filmmakers were fortunate to be 
working with two producers reps, Chicago- 
ans John litis and Dave Sikich, who helped 
them navigate the unfamiliar waters. "We 
come there. Nobody knows our faces. They 
give you a little badge with your name on it, 
and that's it," Quinn later told the Chicago 
Filmletter. "Whatever way in which the busi- 
ness takes place — and clearly Sikich and litis 
understand whatever that is — they seemed 
to have no trouble operating. But for people 
like us, had our film not been creating a 
whole lot of buzz, I don't know what we 
would have done." A month after the festi- 
val, the filmmakers closed a deal with Fine 
Line Features, which plans to release the 




film this September or October. A PBS date 
will follow, since PBS and CPB both put 
money into the project. 

Among the other documentaries, the 
audience favorites were, interestingly, not 
straight-on political topics, but those dealing 
with ostensibly "soft," sometimes esoteric 
subjects. There was Steve M. Martin's wide- 
ly praised Theramin, for instance, about the 
early electronic instrument played by waving 
one's hand through a magnetic field 
(remember the warbling sound in "Good 
Vibrations"?); Colorado Cowboy, Arthur 
Elgort's exquisitely photographed black-and- 
white paean to rodeo bronc rider Bruce 
Ford; and Martha & Ethel, about the nannies 
from Germany and the deep South who 
raised director Jyll Johnstone and producer 
Barbara Ettinger (sister of The War Room 
coproducer Wendy Ettinger). With child 
care such a concern nowadays, Martha & 
Ethel was 
a popular 
draw, 
providing 
an inti- 
m a t e 
look at 
t h e 
impact 
these two 
care- 
providers 
had on 
their 

respective families. In the 
process, it also casts light on 
the options open to women 
in the 1950s. Picked up for 
theatrical release by Sony 
Picture Classics, Martha & 
Ethel was met with praise 
and some relief during the 
Q&A from audiences worn 
down by this year's rash of 
dysfunctional family films. 

Martha & Ethel was part of a strong batch 
of films by women. The top documentary 
prize (Grand Jury) went to Marilyn Mulford 
and Connie Field {Rosie the Riveter) for 
Freedom on My Mind, a solid, if stylistically 
traditional, documentary on the Civil Rights 
Movement's voter registration drive in 
Mississippi in the early sixties. In the docu- 
mentary competition, 10 out of 17 entries 
were directed or codirected by women. Since 
women are more likely than men to repre- 
sent women's concerns — whether it's in 
Congress or on the silver screen — this year 
the topics broadened to include child care, 
breast cancer (Cancer in Two Voices, by Lucy 
Massie Phenix), female circumcision (Fire 
Eyes, by Soraya Mire), politicized mothers in 
South Africa (Mama Awethul, by Bethany 
Yarrow) , female sexuality in the age of AIDS 
(Heart of the Matter, by Gini Reticker and 
Amber Hollibaugh), and mental illness and 
its connection to abuse (Allie Light's unfor- 
gettable Dialogues with Madwomen) . 

In contrast, only three of the 1 7 dramatic 
features in competition were by women, 



Girl meets girl in Go 
Fish, a frolicsome les- 
bian feature from new- 
comer Rose Troche, 
which hooked the first 
distribution deal at 
Sundance. 
Courtesy Samuel 
Goldwyn 



22 THE INDEPENDENT May 1 994 



reflecting the continuing difficulties women 
face when trying to develop feature projects. 
In addition to Troche's Go Fish, there were 
Deirdre Fishel's Risk and Kelly Reichardt's 
River of Grass. (A fourth film, Kayo Hatta's 
Picture Bride, was pulled from the festival.) 
Though snubbed at the awards ceremony, 
Go Fish snared a fair amount of time in the 
limelight, being both the festival's first distri- 
bution deal and the first lesbian dramatic 
feature from the Generation X crowd. While 
older lesbians grumbled about the PR hype 
plugging this as the first lesbian feature, 
Troche gamely admits her debt to earlier les- 
bian filmmakers, but is quick to point out the 
differences. In addition to Go Fish's 
unabashed outness, "All the other movies 
were cast for mid-thirties and up," says 
Troche, "and the circumstances happen in a 
higher economic class. Go Fish is very much 
grunge, very much working class broads. 
They have jobs like waitressing, working at a 
bar, being perpetual students. That's some- 
thing these other films weren't showing; 
everyone was nicely dressed, more upper 
class." Producer/cowriter Guinevere Turner 
adds, "Go Fish is completely about commu- 
nity. There's not another lesbian film that 
represents community in this way." 

Tapping into this community is the name 
of the game for marketing a film like Go Fish. 
During the festival, Troche was negotiating 
with Goldwyn about hiring a lesbian market- 
ing consultant and was delighted that the 
distributor was not interested in soft-pedal- 
ing the lesbian content, in the Philadel- 
phia marketing mode. "What would we 
say it's about?" Troche queries. "Fish?" As 
part of their deal, the filmmakers get to work 
on the film's poster and trailer. Go Fish is 
scheduled to open this June, during Gay 
Pride Month. 

If Sundance were only about the business 
of filmmaking, it would be a much grimmer 
affair. While there's no question that the 
conversations and anxieties during the festi- 
val center around the commercial prospects 
for the competition films, Gilmore and com- 
pany nonetheless make sure the festival is 
loaded with interesting sidebars. There are 
some U.S. filmmakers who grumble about 
foreign films taking away precious slots 
(Sundance shows only 90 features and 70 
shorts altogether — making it about one-fifth 
the size of the Toronto Film Festival), but 
such complaints merely show that parochial- 
ism is as alive within the independent com- 
munity as it is within the film industry. 

Remember, it was Sundance where the 
buzz started around the charming magical- 
realist feature from Mexico, Like Water for 
Chocolate. Had Sundance not scheduled it, 
who knows whether the film would have 
gone anywhere in the States. This year, some 
of the festival's best films were again outside 
of the main competition. (Competition films 
must have over 50 percent U.S. financing, be 
feature-length, not studio-financed, and 
completed within the last year.) There was 
Thirty-two Short Films about Glenn Gould, by 




Some of the festival's finest films were found outside the main competition, such as 
Betrayal, a morally complex political drama by Romanian Radu Mihaileanu. 

Photo: Johan Leysen, courtesy filmmaker 



French Canadian Francois Girard, a bril- 
liantly conceived and endlessly inventive 
work about the eccentric and legendary 
pianist Glenn Gould [see Talking Heads, 
April 1994] • Another musical film, the buoy- 
ant Backbeat, had its world premiere here. 
This dramatic feature, by British filmmaker 
Iain Softley, recounts the birth of the 
Beatles, focusing on their breakthrough gigs 
in Hamburg and the "fifth Beatle's" love 
affair with German photographer Astrid 
Kirchherr. An additional, last-minute 
screening played to a packed and enthusias- 
tic house, despite the late notice. 

Then there was Betrayal, an impressive 
feature debut by Jewish-Romanian expatri- 
ate Radu Mihaileanu, about a dissident 
writer who becomes an informer for the 
Romanian secret police. (While people often 
seem to cut first-time filmmakers some slack, 
Betrayal demonstrates that it's possible for a 
director to have technical mastery and intel- 
lectual depth at one's command during a 
first outing.) Mihaileanu doesn't like to be 
called a political filmmaker ("As long as we 
call them political films, we are in a ghetto") . 
Nonetheless, while American independents 
seem preoccupied with dating rituals and 
domestic dysfunction, Mihaileanu belongs to 
that class of European filmmakers who open 
their lenses wider, surveying how "outside" 
forces like war, politics, and economics bear 
down on the human psyche. Think of Volker 
Schlondorffs Circle of Deceit or The Lost 
Honor of Katharina Blum, for instance, or 
Louis Malle's psychological probes into 
WWII collaborationists, Au Revoir les 
Enfants and Lacombe, Lucien. Although 
Mihaileanu names Orson Welles, Charlie 
Chaplin, Ingmar Bergman, and Tex Avery as 
his greatest influences, he agrees that his 
work fits in well with this other family, in 
which he also includes Ken Loach, Krzysztof 
Kieslowski, and Andrei Tarkovsky. 

Like these directors, Mihaileanu follows 
the actions of people as they are boxed into 
impossible circumstances. Imprisoned and 
tortured for 11 years for writing an article 
critical of Stalin, the poet George Vlaicu 
finally has to choose between becoming an 
informer or facing execution. He agrees to 
inform once a week on two conditions: He 
will reveal no information about his friends 
that the Securitate doesn't already know. 



And his poems will be 
published uncensored. 
This second request is 
either Faustian or hero- 
ic — depending on 
whether one chooses to 
focus on the writer's ego 
or the rebellious message 
of his poetry. (Mihaileanu, 
who also writes poetry, 
says, "In Romania, we had 
so few things that a poem 
was a gift for us — and 
Vlaicu knows that.") The 
director moves through 
the exposition quickly, 
spending the bulk of the 
film on the poet's duplicitous existence and 
the greater betrayals that go on all around 
him. 

Like many Romanians, Mihaileanu, at age 
35, has first-hand knowledge of such 
encounters. His father, a journalist, was 
"asked" many times to be an informer, but 
successfully refused. Betrayal is based in part 
on his father's life, collected in 10 taped 
interviews ("I hoped his memory would 
become mine, and I will give it to somebody 
else.") and that of his father's friends, some 
of whom never came back from prison. 
Mihaileanu left the country at his father's 
urging at age 22 and moved to Israel, then 
Paris, where he enrolled in film school. 

At Sundance, Mihaileanu told me, "I 
don't consider myself a filmmaker; I just 
have something to say." He continued, "If I 
didn't do the cinema, I would find some way 
to say it — writing, singing, theater. I would 
find a way." 

How refreshing — and how unlike the 
multitudes of directors who prioritize career 
over content. Sadly, even though Betrayal 
netted three top prizes at Montreal's Festival 
des Films du Monde, subtitled films like it 
encounter stiff resistance in the U.S. 
Betrayal's good word-of-mouth at Sundance 
resulted in an extra screening one morning 
at 7:45, which representatives from Fine 
Line, October, and Sony Classics rose early 
to attend (Mihaileanu handed out free 
doughnuts). But by the end of the festival, 
he still had no offers. Some say distributors 
were scared by Betrayal's lukewarm box 
office in France, where it had the misfortune 
of opening the same day as 13 other films, 
with reviews appearing two months later. 
(Mihaileanu notes that in Holland, it had 
the second largest box office among art 
films.) Whatever the distributors' reasons, 
it's clearly our loss if Betrayal slips quietly 
from view. 

Has Sundance been co-opted? No, not as 
long as it continues to show films like 
Betrayal and Hoop Dreams — and Dialogues 
with Madwomen, 32 Short Films about Glenn 
Gould, and Clean, Shaven, and all the other 
independent visions that have nothing to do 
with by-the-book moviemaking, by filmmak- 
ers who have something to say. 

Patricia Thomson is editor of The Independent. 



May 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 23 



by Michele Shapiro 



wmm—m^^^mmm^^ 



Delflshaven, Rotterdam's one picturesque area that managed to survive WWII bombing attacks. 

Photo: Michele Shapiro 




THE ROTTERDAM 
INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 



fl^ otterdam is one of Europe's least 
MM quaint cities. Unlike Amsterdam, with 
fr its abundance of canal-front brown- 

■ I stones, museums, and coffee shops, 

■ I Rotterdam is rarely included on the 
travel itineraries of the culture- and party- 
hungry backpacking set. 

During World War II bombing raids, the 
once-picturesque Dutch port was leveled, 
and has since been rebuilt as a tangle of cin- 
derblock shops, office buildings, and every 
imaginable fast food restaurant. The flame- 
broiled, Kentucky-fried McCity seems a 
most unlikely venue for an intimate festival 
that marries avant garde filmmaking and 
political activism. Then again, with seven 
movie theaters clustered around the festi- 
val's flagship hotel (the Hilton), the down- 
town location seems ready-made for such an 
event. This may help to explain why for the 
last 23 years, the Rotterdam International 
Film Festival — sandwiched between Sun- 
dance in late January and Berlin in mid- 
February — has continued to attract a vibrant 



crowd of film and video artists, international 
journalists, and spectators in search of some- 
thing a little. ..different. 

Bizarre may be a more appropriate word to 
describe this writer's first experience in 
Rotterdam, where mid- to upper-budget 
independent films such as Romeo Is Bleeding, 
Short Cuts, and Like Water for Chocolate 
screened alongside $10,000 features and 
16mm shorts by undergrad film students. 
Where a panel discussion on West Coast 
independents quickly lapsed into one drug- 
induced maker's version of The World 
According to Caveh. Where the festival's 
most popular haunt was a bar-on-wheels 
which, parked in front of the Hilton, seats 10 
and looks more like a Good Humor truck 
than a drinking establishment. Where old 
masters such as Bernardo Bertolucci held 
court with the new guard over coffee in the 
hotel lobby. Come to think of it, maybe sur- 
real is an even better word to describe the 
experience. 

Warning: Neither Rotterdam's unpre- 
dictable environment nor its rough-edged, 



quirky mix of nearly 400 features, docs, and 
shorts appeal to everyone. But while other 
European festivals have watched attendance 
dwindle in recent years due to the immense 
amount of competition, Rotterdam — and its 
maker-friendly market, the CineMart (see 
sidebar on pg. 27) — attract a larger crowd 
each year. 

In 1994, the festival registered 155,000 
paying visitors, a 41 percent leap over last 
year. In addition, 750 foreign guests attend- 
ed, including 300 journalists from 65 coun- 
tries and 150 directors. Emile Fallaux, who 
replaced Marco Miiller as festival director in 
1992, has witnessed a steady increase in 
attendance. He attributes the rise to a new 
generation of filmgoers. "The audience 
Rotterdam has gained is mostly young peo- 
ple. They are looking for something new, 
adventurous, and of quality," he says. 
"Maybe for them film has become the rock- 
and-roll of the nineties." Many of the festi- 
val's entries, as in years past, were produced 
by and targeted at the under-30 generation. 

Fallaux, a documentarian and Dutch 



24 THE INDEPENDENT May 1 994 



journalist, has always respected American 
cinema, and this year, as in years past, films 
and videos from the U.S. figured prominent- 
ly at Rotterdam. The festival had only a 
handful of world premiere features (many 
more films were either international pre- 
mieres or familiar works from last year's fes- 
tival circuit), and two hailed from the U.S. 
Both Craig Schlattman's At Ground Zero and 
Ray Lein's Bad Apples were filled with drugs, 
guns, and other ugly Americanisms. Much of 
the audience at a screening of Schlattman's 
film, in which Rutger Hauer's daughter is 
graphically filmed mainlining heroin, walked 
out during the first half hour. But those who 
stuck it out liked what they saw, says 
Schlattman. "And it was not an easy film 
with readily accessible characters and Syd 
Field profundities on the proper pages," he 
adds. 

Lein's film, shot in black-and-white, 
played to packed houses in Rotterdam, and 
Bad Apples t-shirts, which the filmmaker and 
his entourage sold from a makeshift stand at 
the Hilton's lobby, were also a big hit. 

In the shorts category, a program of films 
on 35mm, including Hal Hartley's Flirt and 
Jim Jarmusch's Cigarettes and Coffee, drew 
hordes of locals, while a similarly diverse 
screening of 16mm shorts failed to attract 
the masses. Yet several of the 16mm entries, 
including Columbia film student Ethan 
Spigland's 23-minute mock-documentary 
about film criticism, The Strange Case of 
Balthazar Hypolite, impressed those who did 
attend. At a Q-and-A session that following 
the screening, several of the makers were 
present, including Becky MacDonald, a pro- 
grammer for the Mill Valley Film Festival, 
whose One Single Life was a touching portrait 
of two eccentric neighbors; Constantine 
Limperis, whose Robert Manholecoverman 
was inspired by his noisy New York City 
neighbors; Henry Hills, an experimental 
maker whose Little Lieutenant offered a col- 
lage of images set to music; and Jason Berlin, 
a bearish-looking film student whose black- 
and-white short, Gone, had the feel of a 
dream. The makers said they viewed short 
films as more than a calling card for 
Hollywood. "I feel committed to shorts, 
although it seems hopeless sometimes," said 
Hills. Similarly, all complained about the 
lack of a market for shorts in the U.S. 

West Coast makers Steven Ozaki and 
Caveh Zahedi also premiered their new 
shorts in Rotterdam. Ozaki's The Lisa 
Theory, about a grunge band singer who is 
dumped by her boyfriend, was a departure 
for the San Franciscan better known for his 
documentaries. Participating on a panel with 
West Coast makers Jon Moritsugu (Terminal 
USA), Adrian Velicescu (The Secret Life of 
Houses), and the Los Angeles-based Zahedi 
(I Don't Like Las Vegas Anymore), Ozaki 
complained about the lack of an indepen- 
dent film community on the West Coast. 
"The competition for funding creates an 



±£- 


"*tt^i»aa.««i3»rti*»= ,,J ^ 


- :;: ^i 1 -=^ 


Harmonic 


Ranch 


E S J A 8 I 1 S H E D 19 8 4 


AUDIO FOR VIDEO 


• 


DIGITAL AUDIO 


WORKSTATIONS 


• 


AUTOMATED MIXES 


59 FRANKLIN ST. 


NEW YORK, N. Y. 10013 


2 12-966 3141 



Synchronicity 
Sound 

Digital Audio Workstation with 
Video & Film Lock up 

Full Sound Track Preparation & 
Editing 

Dialogue, Effects, Music Editing 
& Sound Design 

Digital Production Recording 

Multi-Format Mixing Facility 

Interformat Sound Transfers 

Overnite T.C. Stripes & Window Dubs 

AIVF Member & Student Discount 

611 Broadway, Cable Bldg., Suite 907 H 
New York, NY 10012 

(212) 254-6694 
Fax: (212) 254-5086 




OFF-LINE 
AVID 4000 
SONY 3/4" 
DUPLICATION 

G6NIX 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, 10012 
FAX 212 941 5759 



May 1 994 THE INDEPENDENT 25 









^z 


K 




-v A 




S1U 
raouc 


n h 




kI 




Video 
production \ 

Post 

production | 

Satellite 1 
services 


,., -.*=* ItM 




F~- 


«p»«« 





ANCHOR/ 

NEWS DESK 

SETS 



VIDEO- 
CONFERENCING 



SATELLITE 
MEDIA TOURS 

• 

CORPORATE 

VIDEOS 

• 

DOCUMENTARIES 

• 

BUSINESS 

TELEVISION 



NTV 

is « division of 

NTV 

International 

Corporation 



contact: 



ElyseRabinowitz 212-489-8390 

NTV STUDIO PRODUCTIONS 

50 ROCKEFELLER PLAZA 

NYC 10020 



If flAPKC J ^ 

l C80illQI||Ur'&HAP- 



bce* ew 



You don't need an Aeroflot ticket 
to find compelling images from 
Russia. Now the full sweep of 
Russian history — from before the 
1917 Revolution to the revolution 
of today — is available in our com- 
prehensive film and video archive. 
To find out more, give us a call. 

The Russian 
Archive 

At David Royle Productions 

(212) 947-8433 



atmosphere of distrust," he said. Ozaki then 
had to fend off insulting comments about his 
film from fellow maker Zahedi, who admit- 
ted to having taken the drug Ecstasy prior to 
the discussion. Howard Feinstein, a free- 
lance journalist hired by the Rotterdam staff 
to moderate panels throughout the fest, did 
an excellent job of mediating what could 
easily have become a sparring match 
between the northern and southern Cali- 
fornians. 

Several intimate works by veteran U.S. 
filmmakers Richard Leacock, Jonas Mekas, 
and Stan Brakhage were included in the fes- 
tival's Master Home Movies sidebar. Other 
films and documentaries with the look and 
feel of home movies, including Ross 
McElwee's Time Indefinite and Gregg Araki's 
Totally F***ed Up, rounded out the pro- 
gram. A number of segments from ITVS's 
TV Families series, including Tamara 
Jenkins' Family Remains (which won the 
prize for Best Short Film at Sundance) and 
Andy Garrison's Night Ride, were screened at 
the festival. James Schamus, coordinating 
producer of the series, attended Rotterdam's 
CineMart to promote the package to foreign 
TV buyers. At press time, ITVS had submit- 
ted the series to PBS for consideration and 
was awaiting word from the network as to 
whether or not it would be included on the 
fall schedule. 

Independent films from the U.S. were well 
received both at this year's festival and at the 
CineMart. But the true stars of the festivities 
were an array of Sixth Generation filmmak- 
ers from China, whose works were screened 
in Rotterdam despite protest from Chinese 
authorities. During a panel discussion with 
several of the filmmakers, moderator Tony 
Rayns conveyed how difficult it is for makers 
working outside the studio system, such as 
Zhang Yuan (Beijing Bastards), who need to 
find their own funding as well as screening 
and distribution outlets. Although the 
Chinese government curtailed filming on 
Zhang's latest film after just one week 
because Bastards had screened at the Tokyo 
Film Festival without government permis- 
sion, most of the panelists seemed optimistic 
about the future of independent cinema in 
their homeland. "There are at least a dozen 
makers producing films and documentaries 
in Beijing," said Tian Zhuangzhuang, direc- 
tor of The Blue Kite. Wang Xiaoshuai, whose 
The Days screened in Rotterdam and in this 
year's New Directors series at the Museum of 
Modern Art in New York, added that there 
should be more opportunities for indepen- 
dent makers in China, but having to self-dis- 
tribute the films makes it even more of a 
challenge. "From my point of view, I'm a 
producer. I can't distribute my films and if no 
organization will do it, people won't see 
them," she said. Although Rotterdam is non- 
competitive, this year's Fipresci prize, award- 
ed by the an international jury of film critics, 
went to Red Beads, the love story of a nurse 



and her institutionalized patient by Sixth 
Generation filmmaker He Yi. 

As Schamus observed, Rotterdam, with 
its unyielding commitment to world cinema, 
is "one of Europe's least white festivals." In 
addition to the extensive compilation of 
films from Mainland China, Taiwan, and 
Hong Kong, this year's main program includ- 
ed selections from Tadjikistan, Bangladesh, 
Egypt, and Cuba. Moreover, an annual side- 
bar, Limits of Liberty, screened films banned 
in their home countries, including the 
German documentary Beruf Neonazi (which 
was pulled from Berlin's market after 
protests ensued about whether the film's 
content was balanced) and the Vietnamese 
feature Forgive Me. A third film, Decline of 
the Century, about fascist Croatia during 
World War II, was scheduled to screen 
under the Limits of Liberty banner. 
Ironically, however, a press release issued 
during the fest stated that the Berlin 
Festival, which wanted exclusive rights to 
screen the film, "put pressure on the produc- 
er to withdraw the film from Rotterdam." 

In addition to screening world cinema, 
Rotterdam supports Third World makers 
through the Hubert Bals Fund. Named after 
the festival's founder, the fund offers a total 
of $400,000 annually to be used for project 
development, production/postproduction, 
and distribution. Among 1993's 13 recipi- 
ents was Zhang Yuan (Beijing Bastards), who 
received funds to develop a new project 
about homosexuals in China. 

My gripes about this year's festival are 
few: first, Rotterdam should consider print- 
ing an English-language version of its daily 
festival trade newspaper so non-Dutch 
speakers can understand more than the 
three pages a day written in English; second, 
the audience polls reported in the paper 
seem somewhat skewed as certain screenings 
had no one at the door handing out rating 
cards and others had no one collecting them. 
Lastly, and in my case most important, when 
handing out earphones for simultaneous 
translation, make sure they work. In what 
was a most fitting conclusion to an unusual 
Rotterdam experience, I attended a sold-out 
evening screening of Hou Hsiao Hsien's The 
Puppetmaster, which was shown in Chinese 
with Dutch subtitles. Arriving just before the 
lights dimmed, I found a free seat at the cen- 
ter of an aisle and squeezed past numerous 
muttering Dutch compadres before realizing 
I had neglected to fetch earphones from the 
rear of the theater. My neighbors grudgingly 
allowed me to pass once more, but when I 
returned to my seat, adjusted the headset, 
and heard only static, I didn't dare get up 
again. The next three hours were spent 
watching the wise, old puppetmaster and 
Hou's breathtaking landscapes sans sound. 
When the film hits New York, I'll be first in 
line. 

Michele Shapiro is managing editor of 
The Independent. 



26 THE INDEPENDENT May 1 994 



ROTTERDAM'S CINEMART: 

FtDnt&Center 

Santa Monica-based filmmaker Craig Schlattman, 
whose feature At Ground Zero premiered this year in 
Rotterdam, knew little about the CineMart before he 
touched down in the Netherlands. 



In fact, he had scheduled his return flight 
for just one day after the start of the four- 
day market, which runs concurrently with 
the festival. Yet the filmmaker says he was 
so bowled over by the extensive list of 
international directors, producers, distrib- 
utors, and bankers slated to attend the 
coproduction forum, he 
phoned his airline in hopes 
of extending the visit. 
After a fabricated tale of a 
broken leg failed to win 
the sympathy of a KLM 
agent, Schlattman depart- 
ed as scheduled, but not 
before crashing a cocktail 
gathering expressly for 
filmmakers selected to par- 
ticipate in this year's 
CineMart. 

"I thought it might be 
my one chance to meet a 
possible producer for my 
new film, or a distributor, 
or [to find] financing op- 
portunities," he explained 
upon his return to the 
West Coast. 

Schlattman, who did 
indeed establish overseas 
contacts during his brief 
CineMart experience, is 
not alone. Due to its reputation for pairing 
makers with prospective hinders and dis- 
tributors, the CineMart continues to 
increase in both size and scope, despite a 
sluggish European economy. 

"The market is thriving," says producer 
James Schamus, who for seven years has 
served as an unpaid CineMart consultant, 
suggesting potential U.S. projects to coor- 
dinators Janette Kolkema, Wouter 
Barendrecht, and Sandra den Hamer. "It's 
not just an appendage of the festival. It's at 
its center." 

Started 11 years ago by former fest 
director Marco Miiller, the CineMart 
boasted 5 1 preselected projects this year — 
eight more than last — and hosted a record 
400-plus attendees. In addition, the U.S., 
with 13 projects represented, had a 
stronger presence than ever before. 

The increase could be attributed to the 



first-time involvement of the Independent 
Feature Project (IFP), which scouted out 
projects, encouraged makers to submit 
proposals, organized submissions, and 
enlisted Agfa as a sponsor so more 
Americans could attend this year's mar- 
ket. But as the IFP's Rachael Shapiro 




Lynn Herschman's video Virtual Love- 
CineMart Courtesy videomaker 



-a tale of love in cyberspace — garnered attention at this year's 



emphasizes, her organization did not par- 
ticipate in the CineMart's selection 
process. Returnees to the CineMart from 
the U.S. included Steve Buscemi (Pete) 
and Ilkka Jarvilaturi (Darkness in Tallinn), 
both of whom came bearing new scripts for 
future projects. Other screenplays up for 
grabs in Rotterdam ranged from Tom 
DiCillo's Box of Moonlight, an existential 
action film, to Beth B's Visions of Excess 
and Sara Driver's Two Serious Ladies, both 
adaptations of texts by women writers. 

Throughout the event, held at the 
Hilton, the makers chatted up their pro- 
jects at meetings prearranged by the 
CineMart staff and attended panel discus- 
sions on topics including Coproducing 
with TV Stations, The Decline of the 
European Market, and How to Get into 
the U.S. Market. With its informal 
approach and noncompetitive atmos- 



phere, the market has helped to distin- 
guish Rotterdam from other European fes- 
tivals that simply screen completed films. 
Says fest director Emile Fallaux, "We are 
not merely a showcase, but an activist fes- 
tival working on behalf of filmmakers." 

As the CineMart is far less sales-driven 
than larger markets such as Cannes and 
Berlin, success stories are fewer and far- 
ther between. But they do exist. This year, 
two projects that received some funding as 
a result of contacts established at last 
year's market — Jarvilaturi's Darkness in 
Tallinn and Belgian director Claudio 
Pazienza's Sottovoce — were screened at the 
festival. Rotterdam, however, lost a third 
project, Steve McLean's Postcards From 
America, to Berlin after the larger fest 
required exclusive screening rights, 
Kolkema says. 

Although many U.S. independents 
compete for limited funds on home turf, at 
the CineMart, there seems 
I to be plenty for everyone. 
, San Francisco-based video- 
maker Lynn Hershman, a 
first-time attendee, received 
a "strong commitment" to 
finance her new $60,000 
feature Gaze, about comput- 
er invasion and the way 
women are viewed, as well 
as two new commissions 
from European TV channels 
and found a party interested 
in broadcasting Virtual Love, 
which screened at this year's 
festival. 

Larger-budget projects, 
such as DiCillo's $3-million 
Box of Moonlight, received 
piecemeal offers from hin- 
ders willing to front a few 
thousand dollars each. But 
the filmmaker was encour- 
aged by the interest. "My 
most important meetings 
happened by chance," he says. 

While few deals were penned on the 
spot, DiCillo and representatives of the 12 
other U.S. projects on offer this year 
achieved their primary goal of establishing 
contacts that could eventually pay off. 
Although the four-day schmooze-a-thon 
ended officially on February 3, the 
CineMart bureau will remain open 
throughout the year. The application 
deadline for next year's market is October 
1, 1994. Application packages, including a 
script, a 10-page outline, a tape of an ear- 
lier work, and a budget outline, should be 
mailed to: The Rotterdam International 
Film Festival, PO Box 21696, 3001 AR 
Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Attn: 
CineMart; tel: 31 10 411 8080; fax: 31 10 
413 5132. For more information, contact 
the IFP at (212) 243-3882. 

Michele Shapiro 



May 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 27 



ifjjc eh;i 





c mm 







Public television has been subject to considerable scrutiny 
of late. Political opponents have questioned its "balance" 
and challenged its receipt of federal funding. Those within 
the public television system are wondering how it must 
evolve to survive within a reconfigured, multichannel uni- 
verse, with competition from cable, satellites, pay-per- 
view, and video on demand — a far different environ- 
ment than when public television was created. 
With this in mind, the Twentieth Century Fund commis- 
sioned a task force to evaluate the state of public television today. The 
Twentieth Century Fund, founded in 1919, is a nonprofit, nonparti- 
san think tank that analyzes economic policy, foreign affairs, and 
domestic political issues. Over the course of eight months, the 23- 
member Task Force met to wrestle with the fundamental question, "Is 
there still a need for noncommercial television as we know it?" 

Their findings were published last year in a 188-page book titled 
Quality Time? The Report of the Twentieth Century Fund Task Force on 
Public Television [available through the Brookings Institute: (202) 
797-6258; excerpts reprinted here with permission from the 
Twentieth Century Fund, New York]. As intended, the report trig- 
gered debate among public television's critics and allies and percolat- 
ed through the pages of the New York Times, Current, and, most 
notably, the December 1993 issue of Harpers Magazine, with Lewis H. 
Lapham's withering essay "Adieu, Big Bird." 

Presented below are excerpts from the Task Force's executive sum- 
mary and from the "Supplemental Comment" by Task Force member 
Eli Evans. Having worked for the original Carnegie Commission 
(which created public television in 1967) and served on the second 
Carnegie Commission in 1979, Evans brings a understanding of pub- 
lic television's history, its original vision, its accomplishments, and its 
failings. Missing from the Task Force and much of the subsequent 
debate is the independent producers' perspective. The Independent 
asked Ralph Arlyck, a longtime documentary maker and member of 
AIVF's advocacy committee, to comment on the Task Force's find- 
ings. Arlyck's works, which include An Acquired Taste, Godzilla Meets 
Mono. Lisa, and Current Events, has been broadcast on PBS, the BBC, 
and screened at INPUT and top international film festivals. 



Executive Summary 

From Quality Time? The Report of the 
Twentieth Century Fund Task Force on 
Public Television 

The Task Force's recommendations constitute a blueprint for change. 
The majority of Task Force members are convinced that only by rein- 
venting itself can public television meet the needs of the American 
public in the twenty-first century. 



Indeed, driven by an immense increase in the menu of program- 
ming available, the fragmentation of the overall television audience is 
likely to continue. In this context, the broad national values, the link- 
ages among educational experiences, the in-depth coverage of public 
issues, and the common cultural experience that the best of public 
television can offer seem of greater value than ever. The Task Force 
does not believe, however, that these lofty goals are attainable with- 
out substantial revision in the existing system. 

Among the Task Force's principal conclusions are the following: 

• The mission of public television should be the enrichment and strength- 
ening of American society and culture through high-quality programming 
that reflects and advances our basic values. Commercial television is dri- 
ven by a concern for the marketplace that does not necessarily cap- 
ture many of the values we hold dear, such as excellence, creativity, 
tolerance, generosity, responsibility, community, diversity, and intel- 
lectual achievement. Without public television, there would be no 
alternative to programs driven fundamentally by the need to sell prod- 
ucts. While commercial television excels at reporting the news and 
occasionally produces works of quality and importance, its fundamen- 
tal and necessary values are reflected in the fastest growing segment 
of the television industry: the cable shopping networks that do away 
with programming altogether and simply sell. The Task Force believes 
that alternative programming must be available that enlarges the hori- 
zons of the American people and informs them of the issues — past, 
present, and future — that affect their society. Public television must 
never assume the role of arbiter of our values, but it can serve as a 
medium for their expression and debate. 

• To fulfill its mission in an environment of intensifying competition, tech- 
nological change, and economic stringency, Americas system of public tele- 
vision needs fundamental structural cliange. There are 351 public televi- 
sion stations in the country, many of them with overlapping signals 
and duplicative schedules. Programming is seriously underfunded. Ot 
the $1.2 billion spent in the public television system in 1992, approx- 
imately 75 percent of the funds were used to cover the cost of station 
operations. Our conclusion is straightforward: There must be a dra- 
matic shift in resources toward programming that can achieve the 
high standards of excellence needed to allow public television to 
compete successfully for the viewers' attention as well as public and 
private support. 

• Federal funding of stations' operations should be eliminated arid tlie 
resources earmarked for national programs. The appropriation tor public 
television in Fiscal Year 1992 was $251 million, halt ot which was dis- 
tributed to the stations as general grants. The Task Force believes 
that there is waste in overhead and in the needless duplication ot pro- 
gramming. Therefore, given that federal funds come from American 
taxpayers, those dollars should be earmarked exclusively for national 
programming that will serve the nation as a whole. 



28 THE INDEPENDENT May 1994 



• Individual station operations should be supported by the communities they 
serve. While recognizing that many local public television stations will 
be unhappy with the conclusion that federal funds should be directed 
toward national programming, the Task Force urges local stations to 
identify the needs of their communities and raise the funds necessary 
for their operations from within the regions they serve. They should 
be substantially reassured by the fact that, as all the evidence suggests, 
local support of stations is heavily dependent on the quality of nation- 
al programming. 

• Federal funding should be increased to enable public television to provide 
a high-quality, national alternative to commercial broadcasting, provided 
the above recommendations are adopted. If the above recommendations 
are adopted, the Task Force believes that federal funding for national 
programming should be increased to help public television provide the 
highest quality of programming for education (preschool, K-12, col- 
leges and universities, and lifelong learning), public affairs, science, 
history, and the arts. The uniqueness of public television cannot be 
taken for granted. Many stations, in response to popular demand and 
in order to attract more subscriptions, schedule reruns of commercial 
programs like The Lawrence Welk Show. To sustain quality program- 
ming, public television needs and deserves the wholehearted public 
support that we now give to public schools, libraries, and museums. 

• Ideally, national funding of public television should come from new non- 
taxpayer sources of funding such as possible spectrum auctions or spectrum 
usage fees. The Task Force recognizes that it is difficult to impose any 
further burden on the American taxpayer at a time of budget deficits. 
We recommend alternative sources of funding for public television: 
specifically, public broadcasting should receive a share of the prospec- 
tive proceeds of spectrum auctions or spectrum usage fees — proposals 
that are both currently under consideration in Congress. 

• Educational programming must be expanded and commercialization 
resisted. Public television has been a pioneer in education, particular- 
ly in programming for preschool children. Sesame Street is an out- 
standing example of one of its earlier efforts. However, public televi- 
sion's mission in education must also contain an emphasis on lifelong 
learning, including job retraining and literacy, and must strive to fos- 
ter an understanding of the challenges and opportunities posed by the 
enormous cultural diversity that characterizes American society. 
Public television's educational and instructional efforts must be ade- 
quately financed to ensure that they continue to provide an alterna- 
tive to commercial efforts in these areas. 

The problem of commercialization does not rest solely with schools 
that serve children commercials along with their ABCs. The Task 
Force is concerned about recent reports that some public television 
stations promote the sale of toys as "premiums" to children during on- 
air pledge drives. 

• The delivery and dissemination of instructional programming must be 
upgraded.- Public television makes available many worthwhile pro- 
grams to public schools, colleges, and universities. However, there is 
major room for improvement. To remain competitive with commer- 
cial programming for schools (that may not be better but only easier 
to use), public television must go beyond the old technique of over- 
the-air broadcasting of educational materials and make greater use of 
video cassettes and new interactive technologies. 

• The selection process for the Board of the Corporation for Public 
Broadcasting (CPB) should be improved. In order to ensure the quality 
and independence of public television, the Task Force urges that the 
president select a nonpartisan committee of outstanding individuals 
to recommend qualified candidates for seats on the CPB Board. 

The Task Forces notes that the CPB has been charged by Congress 
with monitoring station programming for balance. It urges the Board 
of the CPB to exercise its oversight authority with an eye to balance 
throughout the schedule, and not within each and every individual 
program. Qj 



MEMBERS OF THE TASK FORCE 
ON PUBLIC TELEVISION 

Vartan Gregorian, Task Force Chair 
President, Brown University 

Peter A.A. Berle 

President &. CEO, National Audubon Society 

David W. Burke 

Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer, 
Dreyfus Corporation 

Joseph A. Califano, Jr. 

Chair &. President, Center on Addiction &. Substance 
Abuse at Columbia University 

Peggy Charren 

Founder, Action for Children's Television 

Ervin S. Duggan 

Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission 

Eli N. Evans 

President, Charles H. Revson Foundation 

Leonard Garment 

Partner, Dickstein, Shapiro & Morin 

Henry Geller 

Communications Fellow, Markle Foundation 

Lawrence K. Grossman 

President, Horizons Television 

Henry F. Henderson, Jr. 

President & CEO, H.F. Henderson Industries 

Henry R. Kravis 

Founding partner, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., 
and Chair of the Board of Directors at WNET 

Sue Yung Li 

Independent producer, PBS series Cities in China 
& A Taste of China 



Margaret E. Mahoney 

President, Commonwealth Fund 

Lloyd N. Morrisett 
President, Markle Foundation 

Steven Rattner 

General Partner, Lazard Freres Co. 



Lesley Stahl 

CBS News correspondent, Co-editor of 
60 Minutes 

Stuart F. Sucherman 

President, Hilton/Sucherman Productions 

The Honorable Timothy E. Wirth 

Counselor for the Department of State 

Robert J. Wussler 

Consultant to the Media 



Mortimer B. Zuckerman 

Chair & Editor-in-Chief, U.S. News & World Report, 
and Chair, The Atlantic 

Chloe W. Aaron, Task Force Executive Director 
Fellow, Twentieth Century Fund 

Richard Somerset-Ward, background paper author 
President, RSW Enterprises 




May 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 29 





By Eli N. Evans 



There are critical choices to be made in the next few years by the 
American people, which will determine the system of telecommuni- 
cations for the next century. Each stage of broadcasting history — from 
radio to television and now telecommunications — has begun with 
stated high ideals of public interest service, only to be swamped by 

commercialization. Such will be 
the fate of the multichannel 
environment, just as it has been 
for the promise of cable televi- 
sion, unless steps are taken now, 
at the beginning, to assure that 
the public interest is respected 
and encouraged. From history, 
we know that the marketplace 
will seek out mass tastes, and 
that profitable outlets will 
squeeze out the less profitable. 
The marketplace will be neglectful of the requirements of an informed 
electorate, the cultural needs of children, the potential of family edu- 
cation, the needs of the poor, the potential of those without literacy, 
the hopes of the immigrant, the aspirations of the working adult eager 
for skills and training. Many channels mean many opportunities to 
serve, and local public broadcasting entities, in partnership with cable, 
computer, and telephone companies, can help forge a more varied sys- 
tem of many public channels to meet the many diverse needs of the 
American people. 

I have closely watched public broadcasting evolve for 26 years, hav- 
ing had a staff relationship with the report of the original Carnegie 
Commission on Education Television in 1967, which conceived the 
name and concept of "public television." For 10 years thereafter, I 
worked for the Carnegie Corporation as their grants officer for public 
broadcasting and served as a member of the second Carnegie 
Commission in 1979. This task force then represents my third policy 
look at the system, over almost three decades, and I believe it is time 
for some plain talk. 

Two profound concerns accompanied the first Carnegie 
Commission, both of which have turned out to be prescient and 
unhappily valid. One was that congressional appropriations would 
bring a political dimension and political influence to program deci- 
sions. There were misgivings that Congress would become a major 
audience, enveloping decision-makers with fear of controversy and 
the hesitancy to experiment, stifling risk-taking and fresh ideas by 
bureaucratic self-protection. The second concern was that the rec- 
ommended new organization — the Corporation for Public 
Broadcasting (CPB)— would not be of sufficient prestige to act as 
buffer for the system, especially if its Board members were chosen from 
a political process that also would ultimately politicize the system. 
Independent governance and dedicated funding were at the core of 
the Commission's recommendations, but the Congress and the 
President did not have, in the Commission's words, "the faith to be 
free." It was understandable. All this was new, and theories of inde- 



30 THE INDEPENDENT May 1994 






pendence and the success of the BBC funding model in England gave 
way to the practicalities of the legislative process. Whatever mistakes 
were made in the initial structure and finance — unrestricted presi- 
dential appointment and annual appropriations were compromises 
that had to be made to get Congress to pass the first Public 
Broadcasting Act — we can now correct if we can learn from our quar- 
ter of a century of experience. 

The Lessons of History 

Let me first address the issue of organizational leadership and give 
some historical context. In 1967, the original Carnegie Commission 
saw the new Corporation for Public Broadcasting as the critical lead- 
ership entity for the future. It recommended that its members should 
be of the highest quality, representing the best in America from the 
arts, sciences, and the humanities, from the academy, business, and 
law. It should be equal in stature, the Commission felt, to the U.S. 
Supreme Court. The people's broadcast entity deserved, the 
Commission believed, America's most visionary thinkers. The 
Commission urged that the CPB be quasi-governmental, obtaining 
substantial private support from foundations and individuals "for 
which it is not answerable to the government" and that its Board act 
as a board of trustees for "a sacred trust," selecting its own subsequent 
members, only half of whom would be presidential appointees. 

It was even discussed, although not mentioned in the 1967 report, 
that the new corporation should not be located in Washington, but in 
New York or Los Angeles, within a creative community, so that it 
would not act like a government agency. While the form was enact- 
ed, none of the more fundamental recommendations survived the leg- 
islative mill, and the system today has evolved into a culture that is 
much more governmental and political than was originally conceived. 

Earlier commissions have urged, as does this Task Force, a more 
careful process of appointment. But no president has yet done it. 
Previous presidents have wanted to control it; some have considered 
it an ideological creature of political importance, relegating it to 
power politics; some have wanted to reward big contributors or used 
the vacancies as plums to be traded for votes on other legislation. Of 
course, many good people have served on the CPB Board in the last 
25 years; however, I have talked to many of them over the years and 
even the best expressed feelings of disappointment and frustration 
because of overt White House and congressional interference and 
inappropriate influence. 

The entire history of public broadcasting since 1967 has been 
shaped partially by this failure of the CPB to evolve into one of the 
nation's most respected institutions. The model the 1967 Commission 
had in mind was a board similar in stature to the Board of Governors 
of the BBC in England, leading a new American entity that would 
evolve into an institution "which must be vital and dynamic... of great 
significance in American society." The politicalization of public 
broadcasting by the Nixon presidency, especially, caused severe reac- 
tions. The Watergate tapes and his presidential papers are clear on 
this point: seize control, he advised his aides, get rid of "anti-adminis- 
tration" commentators, appoint loyal people to the CPB Board, and, 
to put teeth into his objections to an independent system, he vetoed 
the first public broadcasting authorization that provided advance 
multi-year funding. After the Nixon White House appointed 11 out 
of 15 members, the CPB Board voted to discontinue all funding of 
public affairs programming and tried to remove all program funds from 
the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). The resulting deep mistrust of 
Washington by local stations created a climate of suspicion and acri- 
mony that has continued for decades. The stations wanted to be pro- 
tected, and they reacted by building a more forceful and aggressive 
PBS. The growth of Community Service Grants (sending federal 
funds to each station) as an ever higher percentage of each federal 
appropriation was a result of shattered faith, political mistrust, and a 
survival mentality that fueled lobbying by the stations. They needed a 
nationwide base of support in every state or they risked being engulfed 
in political crossfire every time a U.S. senator or an angry president 



o 2 

£ s 



if 
Si 

? 1 



11 

ii 








did not like a program. 

A. New Start 

It is time to begin again, to 
sweep away this history and 
create a new national entity 
that will lead the system into 
a new world. A new public 
telecommunications entity 
should be established, which 
might be called a National Endowment for Public Telecom- 
munications or, as the Task Force suggests, a Corporation for Public 
Telecommunications. It must be visible, prestigious, elevated as a 
public-private partnership, entrusted with the destiny of the system, 
and able to take the long view beyond the collective self-interest of 
stations, in a world in which the outlets will not be called "stations," 
only channels of service. It must adapt the system to new technologies 
and turn its attention to the potential of computers, video discs, and 
digital technology to meet the educational needs of the American 
people. 

History gives the presidency of Bill Clinton the opportunity to 
reassess, break with the past, and build a new system of telecommuni- 
cations, with a new definition of the public interest, drawing the best 
from the past, but with an eye on the horizon. At the least, as the Task 
Force suggests, the President can ask institutions representing cultur- 
al leadership in America to recommend names for a new board and 
select from this pool of nominations. Names of leaders from all fields 
should be available, including poets, writers, actors, composers, film- 
makers, directors, leaders in the arts, in new technology, and in broad- 
casting. Selecting some people from the world of the arts would dra- 
matize that no matter how complex the technology, stations and sys- 
tems and structures do not make the programs, creative talent does. 
Moreover, such a board would wed the system to America's most cre- 
ative thinkers. And upgrading its membership to something to which 
the most prominent people in America would aspire would restore 
trust, elevate its purpose, its vision, and thereby its capacity for 
accountability. Rather than gradually making a transition from the 
present structure, it is time to cut ties with the past and begin anew. 

Dedicated Funding 

Hand in hand with visionary and respected leadership is the absolute 
requirement of independence that can only come from an assured, 
adequate, insulated, nonpolitical funding source. Without it, the sys- 
tem is fatally flawed because the last two and a half decades have 
plainly shown that the United States cannot escape the problems 
faced by government-funded broadcast organizations all over the 
world. Each Commission has been concerned about this question, but 
each one has worried about offending Congress, or major broadcast 
interests, for not being "practical" and undermining future appropria- 
tions. Without tracing the many instances of subtle and not so subtle 
influences through the years, it is clear that some form of dedicated 
funds must be found for a system that, in the words of the second 
Carnegie Commission, should be "publicly funded yet quintessential- 
ly private." From a federal perspective there are already accountabili- 
ty safeguards in the system. Since federal funds amount to only 17 per- 
cent of the total funding, the federal government should depend on 
local control, local boards of trustees, multiple channels, viewer sup- 
port, state and local funding, and a distinguished national board for 
accountability and free up federal funding so that it can be devoted to 
creativity, diversity, and national experimentation. "f. 

The first Carnegie Commission recommended an excise tax on 
television sets to be dedicated to public broadcasting, similar to the 
English system that finances the BBC. With the prospect of govern- 
ment auctions for spectrum space in the future, this Task Force 
Report, I believe, is wise in its recommendations. Spectrum space 
belongs to the American people, and just as ranchers must pay a fee 
for grazing their cattle on public lands, so should those broadcasters 



and other services pay who "graze" on the public airways. Some por- 
tion of income derived from the spectrum, whether auctioned or fee- 
based, should be dedicated to a public use so that what is available in 
the American home and schools will serve an educational and cul- 
tural mission beyond the marketplace. That would allow a few chan- 
nels of television, in the words of the original Carnegie Commission, 
to "be neither fearful nor vulgar [but] a civilized voice in a civilized 
community." 

It should give every American a sense of the wasted potential that 
the United States spends one dollar per person on public broadcast- 
ing while the Japanese spend $18 per person and the British $38 per 
person. Additional funds will be needed, especially in a multichannel 
environment, that will bring the opportunity to create a range of ser- 
vices which must be programmed with flair and originality. Publicly 
funded literacy channels, children's channels, channels for high 
school dropouts to earn diplomas, open universities, and other new 
channels of service will have to be created nationally yet be linked to 
local stations and nonprofit educational and cultural institutions. 
And every local station will have local C-SPAN type channels to 
cover state legislatures, city councils, and election debates. Increases 
in funding over the next four years, especially if some of it were ear- 
marked for new channels of service, would yield educational divi- 
dends for generations. 

The Public Interest Redefined 

Unfortunately, many people in public broadcasting view the telecom- 
munications revolution with deep alarm, even fear. A board member 
of a major station recently said to me, "They will chip away our best 
programs. We'll be left with nothing unless we produce innovative 
programming." This Task Force believes most ardently that in a mul- 
tichannel world, the mystical, democratic ideal we call "the public 
interest" will dictate a new visionary calling for public telecommuni- 
cations. 

Now is the time to set things straight and embrace the lessons of 
history. We cannot turn away from government funding simply 
because a system flawed at birth has not worked well enough. The 
original system recommended by the 1967 Carnegie Commission has 

not been tried, and 
there is too much of 
the people's work to 
be done. We must 
return to the idealism 
that gave public 
broadcasting its birth- 
right, even as it faces 
the challenges that 
summon the best peo- 
ple this country has to 
offer to lead the sys- 
tem through the com- 
plex multichannel 
world into the twenty- 
first century. It is diffi- 
cult to convey to the 
American people all the programs they do not see: they can only 
imagine the roads not taken out of fear of controversy, the ideas that 
never get a chance because of a risk-averse bureaucracy, the ease 
with which the ordinary crowds out the original. 

Of one thing I am sure: set the system free; give it the funds it 
needs; insulate it from fear of Congress; turn the future over to our 
wisest and most creative leaders; attract the best talent our country 
has to offer; provide it with multiple channels into the home; open it 
to the creative impulse and make common cause with the dreamers, 
and I am certain that the American people will be better informed, 
and more profoundly served, even inspired, at what such a new sys- 
tem might accomplish. Qj 




May 1994 THE INDEPENDENT 31 



ifiirraraTC 

ffllJj ME 

ifliPUCT 

by Ralph Arlyck 

When I was a high school sophomore, I pursued a girl for nearly a 
year without one sign of reciprocal interest. In fact, there were a num- 
ber of signs to the contrary. These I ignored. It could only be a matter 
of time before she realized that I was what she required to make her 
life complete. 

Does this remind you of anything? Independents have been getting 
"Bug-off, jerk" signals from public broadcasting for quite some time. 
The people in DC and Alexandria are clearly into dating upperclass- 
men and college guys ($5 -million series, international coproductions, 
corporate underwriting), and yet we persist. To most of us, public tele- 
vision officers remain the center of our funding firmament, while for 
them we are more like pimples that won't go away. The difference is 
that as high school suitors, most of us eventually did get the message 
and moved on. As producers we've been standing around with that 
hang-dog look for over a decade. Does this make any sense? 

Now comes the Twentieth Century Fund report to confirm our 
worst fears. Yes, the report says, the system has many screwed up pri- 
orities and needs drastic revision, but, in the implementation of that 
overhaul, the tens of thousands of us around the country are barely an 
afterthought. You don't have to read too far past the list of Task Force 
members to predict this: 2 1 corporate and foundation heavies and Sue 
Yung Li (who seems to fulfill the minority, independent producer, and 
female slots, and probably a few more). Otherwise, no filmmakers, no 
artists, no academics, no writers, no community organizers. 

Sue Yung Li's principal profession is landscape architecture, but she 
has made a few films on the side and has had some dealings with pub- 
lic television stations. Li finds it frustrating, she says, that so few Task 
Force members had actual production experience. She says she did 
her best to introduce specific issues of access, funding, and broadcast, 
but that most of the other members seemed to feel such questions fell 
into the category of "micro-management" and were not the sorts of 
things with which the Task Force should concern itself. 

How can we read something like this report in a non-parochial 
mode? You don't want to go through it the way a friend of my grand- 
father used to sift through stories in the newspaper, asking 'Is it good 
or bad for the Jews?' It should be possible for us to look at the work of 
this group (and at the institution of public television itself) with some 
detachment, through the eyes of an average, thoughtful citizen. 

Let's start with a premise: When you strip away the lofty language 
these kinds of blue-ribbon panels tend to bring back — "excellence," 
"innovation," "not beholden to the marketplace," and all those other 
notions that depend so much on the biases of the beholder — what is 
the one concept that remains? I think it's difference. All the other stuff 
is too laced with interpretation and class prejudice. The one thing 
everyone seems to agree upon is that the system should find a way to 
give us all that we're not going to get on the other 499 channels. The 
question then becomes how you get there. Or at least, who should be 
a major part of the conversation that tries to figure out how you get 
there. Isn't the answer obvious? We should, the outsiders, the people 
who bathe in difference. But we're not; never have been. Instead it's, 



"I know, let's ask Lesley Stahl for a fresh take on television." 

Given this kind of limited perspective, the Task Force has come up 
with a document that seems reasonable and honest. We shouldn't be 
cavalier about the work that has been done here. The report isn't 
visionary, but it has a common-sense quality that could make a differ- 
ence in the upcoming battles to prevent the system from shortly turn- 
ing into a quasi-commercial fourth network. It's not clear what spe- 
cific follow-up plans the Twentieth Century Fund has to see that its 
recommendations have a shot at implementation. 

The report's tone is a mixture of criticism and reverence. It points 
up the flaws in the current setup, while taking care to genuflect to all 
the familiar golden idols: Sesame Street, Nova, MacNeil/Lehrer News 
Hour. (Do you watch MacNeil/Lehrer? Myself, I'd rather work on 
Schedules A and SE of an IRS 1040.) 

The following are what I take to be the heart of the Task Force rec- 
ommendations: 

• The system needs more money. 

• Federal money should continue to be a part of that, but all CPB money 
should go into programs, rather than being handed to the stations to spend as 
they see fit. 

• New, and hopefully politically -shielded, sources of income should be devel- 
oped (like spectrum fees, taxes on hardware, etc.). 

• Local stations should be more involved in the issues faced by their commu- 
nities, and should be supported financially by those communities. 

• The recent drift toward commercialism (increased corporate underwriting, 
more explicit spots and logos, etc.) should be reversed. 

• The CPB Board selection process should be de-politicized. 

• Ideological balance should be a goal for the whole schedule, not for each 
individual program. 

Accompanying these recommendations, in the explanatory text, 
were some facts and bits of language that I found noteworthy: 

• "The Task Force believes that nothing should impede the ability of public 
television to be innovative, to take risks, and to tackle interesting and contro- 
versial subjects in forceful and creative ways. " 

• "Between them, three stations provide about 60 percent of the national 
schedule. More than 300 [out of 351] local stations contribute nothing." 

• "The Task Force believes tluu public television's criteria for the success or 
failure of programs must be different from those used by commercial televi- 
sion. Ratings are neither an adequate nor an appropriate criterion. " 

• "Independent producers are particularly disadvantaged by the fact that most 
national programming is produced by several large stations.... Independent 
producers working in other areas of the country find it hard to gain access to 
the national schedule — partly, at any rate, because their local stations are not 
in the business of producing programs." 

• "Too many stations are saddled with expensive studios and equipment, pri- 
marily (sometimes exclusively) to produce auction and pledge week programs." 

For some reason this last one floored me. A number of my inde- 
pendent producer friends spend a fair amount of time doing commer- 
cial work, but I've never known one who owned equipment solely for 
the purpose of producing demo reels. 

In any case, I doubt that the Task Force's solution, which is to 
deprive the stations of all federal money (which comes in the form of 
Community Service Grants, or CSGs) is going to strengthen the sys- 
tem. I think smaller stations should be encouraged to produce for the 
national schedule — either with their own staffs or with independents. 
Keep the CSGs, but earmark them tor production — no federal money 
for carpets. And, as independents, we need to forge better links to 
these stations. When was the last time you spoke to anyone at your 
local station? 

Just as interesting as the report itself are some of the minority com- 
ments that follow it, because they give us a glimpse of some of the 
ways the Task Force's recommendations are going to be resisted. The 
"Supplemental Comment" by Eli Evans is printed in this issue. Here 
are some of the more interesting dissenting views of other Task Force 
members: 



32 THE INDEPENDENT May 1994 



Ervin S. Duggan is a former FCC Commissioner. He became presi- 
dent of PBS in 1993, after the Task Force finished its deliberations. 
Duggan opposes the recommendation to cut off federal funding to the 
stations and to redirect it toward programming. He also doesn't want 
to give up the requirement of balance within individual programs. 
The thrust of his argument seems to be that shows that are not inter- 
nally balanced tend to piss off Congress and thus place the whole 
apparatus in jeopardy. (His apprehension seems like a perfect illustra- 
tion of the need for one of the other Task Force recommendations: 
political independence for CPB.) 

Come to think of it, neither the Task Force nor Duggan 
really go far enough in this area. I believe that each minute 
of each program should be internally balanced, and from 
now on, I plan on juxtaposing any notion that arises in one 
of my films with an immediate, mitigating counter-argu- 
ment. 

Henry R. Kravis is Chair of the Board of WNET. 
He too opposes diverting CPB money from the j : . 

local stations, and he doesn't see why it should «* 
be a problem that 60 percent of the national 
schedule is produced by three stations (WGBH, 
WETA, and his own) . He also believes it's a distinct 
advantage to independents across the country to 
have to funnel their projects through the major pro- 
ducing stations, because of the large infrastructures and 
support services these stations can offer. That's like 
expecting squirrels to be grateful for the opportunity to 
store their acorns in large, warm bear caves, what with the 
roominess and warmth such caves afford. 

Lloyd N. Morriset is president of the Markle Foundation, 
which has been deeply involved in media issues for years. 
Morriset believes the current funding system doesn't work, 
and that public broadcasting has only two choices if it is to 
avoid marginalization: The first alternative is for the federal 
government to fund all national programming. Morriset says 
this would rule out most political content but that it would 
have the virtue of making funding secure and predictable, and 
would let the system get on with its work in the arts, science, 
and education. The second alternative (the one he prefers) is to 
get rid of federal funding altogether — just dump it, bolster 
other funding sources, and enjoy complete editorial indepen- 
dence. 

It struck me that what is being offered here is methadone versus 
cold-turkey, neither of which has proven very promising with depen- 
dent bodies like public broadcasting. I actually like the Task Force's 
recommendation to make a concerted push for an idea that's been 
around for a while — a dedicated, stable fund tied not to congression- 
al appropriations but to fees generated from public use of the airwaves. 
This would keep the system accountable but would lower the political 
stakes. We could think of it as legalization. 

Richard Somerset-Ward isn't a Task Force member. He's a 21-year 
BBC staffer who was commissioned to write a major background paper 
that takes up the bulk of Quality Time. Ward gives us a nicely con- 
densed history of public broadcasting and then frames the issues that 
the system is going to face in the next decade. 

There's not enough space here to look extensively at Ward's 101- 
page paper. So, if I may be forgiven the methodology of my grandfa- 
ther's friend, let's see what he has to say about us. This is quite doable, 
since we are mentioned only once in the 101 pages. (1TVS also gets a 
couple of passing references.) 

Under a sub-heading "The Producers," he lists the figures that pub' 
lie television cites for the sources of its programs: 

Public television stations 42% 

Independent producers 19.4 

Children's Television Workshop 16.1 

Foreign producers & coproducers 14.0 

Other 8.4 

Ward says "These figures hide a lot of subtleties." Unexplained 




among those subtleties is the definition of what constitutes an "inde- 
pendent producer." In this domain he seems to swallow the system's 
figures whole, since a few paragraphs later he lists Frontline as being 80 
percent independently produced. (Even Congress didn't buy that 
one.) He then goes on to say: 

Independents can frequently be heard demanding an even bigger share of 

the pie, but it has to be said that the shrillest voices are often those of the 

least talented. However great their initial difficulty in getting themselves 

noticed (and more importantly, funded), the really talented ones like 

Ken Burns (The Civil War and many other documentaries) and 

Henry Hampton (Eyes on the Prize) have produced some of 

public television's most important and successful series. 

Here we have the clearest encapsulation you can find of 

how the public TV establishment regards independents: 

Those who produce something that gives the system 

a lot of notoriety and prestige are retroactively 

enshrined, and forevermore institutionalized. 

Public broadcasting draws them to its bosom. The 

thousands of others are tossed onto an immense pile 

that is encircled with a chain-link fence and posted 

with a sign reading "Shrill & no-talent." 

This brings us back to the key question: If that's 
the way they see us, why bother? I think there are 
two answers. The first has to do with staying power. 
Persistence is part of who we are. We're light on our 
feet, and we hang in there. And, if I can flog that high- 
school analogy a bit further, anyone who's been to a class reunion 
knows that a number of those former nerdy guys and awkward 
girls often turn out to be doing interesting things 10 or 15 years 
later. 

Second, we don't really have as many alternate routes as had 
been predicted. For all the promise of the new technologies, most 
of us are still out there on the "information superhighway" with 
our thumbs in the breeze. Cable, videocassettes, and satellites 
have all been developed to, my 
heavens, make money. Who 
thinks the same will not be true of W f MB 
digitization, fiber optics, CD- 
ROM, and whateer other mira- 
cles bob into view? Public televi- 





sion is the only institution statutori- 
ly mandated to deal with us. (The 
Public Telecommunications 
Financing Act of 1978 directed CPB to reserve 
a "substantial" portion of program dollars for independent pro- 
ducers, with Congress later specifying that "substantial" meant at least 
50 percent of available funds.) We should Stay interested in it for the 
same rea